Starting out as a trio called the Strutters, singer/songwriter Mark Kjeldsen along with rhythm section Bobby Irwin and Ron FranÃ§ois re-branded themselves as the Sinceros, trading in New Wave and melodic power pop.Â Epic Records took notice and signed the band in the late ’70s, but not before Irwin and FranÃ§ois were tapped to play on Lene Lovich’s New Wave classic, Stateless. After this brief detour, the Sinceros released their debut, The Sound Of Sunbathing in 1979.Â A single, “Take Me To Your Leader,” got a little buzz in the U.K., and the band toured heavily there and in the States with a power-pop dream line-up co-featuring 20/20 and Paul Collins’ Beat.
After picking up Don Snow as a keyboardist, the band began work on their second album in 1980, but the obviously titled 2nd Debut was shelved by Epic.Â Reworking the existing tracks with Elton John’s super-producer Gus Dudgeon, the redone album was finally released in 1981 as Pet Rock. It’s a lost power-pop classic and the lead single “Disappearing” (download) is one of the greatest should’ve beens of the ’80s – in a perfect world it would have been Top Ten everywhere.Â Pet Rock starts off with a powerful one-two punch of “Disappearing” and the album’s second single, “Memory Lane,” (download) a Squeeze-ish number that’s even better than the first single.Â Â Unfortunately, despite plenty of hard touring, Pet Rock failed to break big and the Sinceros quietly faded away.Â In fact, both albums have never been released on CD.
While keyboardist Don Snow replaced Paul Carrack in Squeeze (talk about a somewhat lateral promotion!), several internet sites claim that singer/songwriter Kjeldsen ended up driving a cab in the ’90s, before succumbing to AIDS a few years later.Â A sad fate for one of power-pop’s great songsmiths, but a fervent underground fan base and several music blogs keep his work alive.
Neither single charted.
Get Sinceros music at Amazon.