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News & Reviews

Alternative Nation Reviews Wonder Lust

Michael Tittel

New Sincerity Works’ Wonder Lust Is An Unexpected Treat Queens of the Stone Age Fans Will Love

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New Sincerity Works, the powerful, enigmatic alternative rock outfit from Cincinnati, Ohio have unveiled Wonder Lust. Through ten tracks, New Sincerity Works take a pleasant, refreshing and at times, unexpected trek down the rabbit hole of late 80’s lushness and alternative, power-pop guitar driven bliss. Released on September 19th, Wonder Lust rocks with a rambunctious enthusiasm and obvious love of the craft.

“Just Like Vapor”, the second cut from the album absolutely slays. The zany, unexpected keyboard lines jump the forefront of the mix. The moog-like sounds give off just the faintest reminiscence of The Rentals. The song kicks off with a killer, frantic guitar riff with slightly echoed vocals before launching into straight up the middle alt-rock splendor. The double snare hits on the drums throughout set the mood, showing this isn’t your average song before it kick into wild guitar riffing and shredding. Think garage bands like The Strokes with an infusion of Queens of the Stone Age and you might have an inkling of the lay of the land. The song really hits its stride though with its use of dynamics. Instruments, such as the aforementioned keyboard lines pop in and out. You’re left wanting to hear more of them; but it’s this execution that really sends this track into the stratosphere. As a rule, a good song should always leave you wanting more. New Sincerity Works work this rule to near perfection.

 

Strong vocals, playful harmonies and well-timed background vocals dominate most tracks throughout Wonder Lust. Multi-instrumentalist and song-writer Mike Tittel’s voice is picture perfect for this brand of alternative rock. He delivers lines and prose with a laid-back  approach that really helps his lyrics come across. On “Without Us”, another one of the album’s standout tracks, he strikes a delicate balance between vulnerable and deliberate while asking, “I wonder what we would do without us?” It’s those dynamics again! He gives a little. He takes a little. There is no playing it safe. His vocal choice helps to keep the listener on the edge of their seat.

"New Sincerity Works is bursting with the potential to completely rewrite the book of what alternative should be; or what its limitations are. "

At times, New Sincerity Works comes off sounding like a futuristic Beatles. Their arrangements are vast and incorporate a lot into each song. But it’s never too much. The lush vocals over the slightly more modern use of the guitar-driven rock mixed with dominate keyboards is a real delight in an era of every band sounding exactly the same. The airy production lends the perfect landscape for these songs. The guitars are crisp. The drums pound and those keyboards; they’re a truly welcome surprise. Like bands such as The Talking Heads and The Cars, New Sincerity Works is bursting with the potential to completely rewrite the book of what alternative should be; or what its limitations are. Wonder Lust doesn’t have a bad track throughout. If you’re starved for a straight out of the box original rock band, you must check out New Sincerity Works.

You can check them out on Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/newsincerityworks and on their various social media sites below:

https://www.facebook.com/newsincerityworks/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCARSg8kC5gLXTIdvifDo4iA

https://newsincerityworks.bandcamp.com/

https://www.instagram.com/newsincerityworks/

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Side Stage Magazine Reviews Wonder Lust

Michael Tittel

New Sincerity Works got their start in 2014. Creative genius Mike Tittel created it, an ex-Loud Family member, current drummer for Roger Klug Power Trio, photographer, artist, and music producer. Aside from Tittel, who writes, Sings, and plays Guitar, Drums, and Keyboards for this band, and on this album, the band also consists of Roger Klug on guitar and vocals; Lauren Bray on vocals and keyboards; Greg Tudor on drums, vocals, pedal steel; Bob Nyswonger on bass and vocals; and Mike Landis on guitar, keyboards, and mixing.

Wonder Lust is a great album that has so many different sounds all meshed into one. When you first begin listening to this album you’ll get a 90s vibe from the music, hearing songs and vocals reminiscent of stuff from creatives like Matthew Sweet. However, you’ll hear such a meshing of sounds that it will be hard to pinpoint one particular genre to fit this band into. From Americana to indie-pop and 80s synth new wave to the experimental music so popular right now. All genres that play well together and create an album that is addicting. 

You can find the full album on Amazon. Get it on CD or download it.

“I’ve Got You” has twangy vocals that are addicting, especially since they’re connected to an alternative, indie-pop sounding song. The vocals definitely rocket this album up past five-stars. 

“Just Like Vapor” is the stand-out song on the album, which has ten songs total. It’s a spacey song with some very cool echo effects. It’s Rush meets indie-pop. It also has a great guitar solo that will have you wishing it was the 80s again. Check out the video for this one here: https://youtu.be/e2Pv4uUEAAo

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CityBeat Magazine: Mike Tittel’s rich, sublime Pop Rock project plays MOTR Saturday to honor its third album in four years

Michael Tittel

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In early September, New Sincerity Works — the project spearheaded by veteran Cincinnati musician Mike Tittel — issued Wonder Lust, the band’s third full-length release since its origins in 2013. While three albums in four years suggests a uniquely prolific pace, the abundance of New Sincerity Works material isn’t indicative of a haphazard “release every scrap of music conceived” vanity project. The opposite is true, in fact — all three of Tittel’s New Sincerity Works efforts contain high-quality, powerfully melodic Rock songs. Each self-recorded long-player is also well thought out and carefully constructed as an “album,” as opposed to merely collections of unrelated songs.  

Tittel — who made his name as a drummer for eminent, critically heralded Power Pop artists like Cincinnati’s Roger Klug and the Bay Area’s Loud Family (led by Game Theory’s Scott Miller) — has also noticeably grown as a writer, arranger and bandleader across his three albums, which is saying a lot considering how impressive the songs were on 2013’s 44, the largely solo New Sincerity Works debut that introduced Tittel as a formidable “new” Pop/Rock songwriting talent (while he’d written songs for years, this project was the first time he’d put together a public presentation for his music). Where 44 had a “full band feel” (he formed a group to perform live after the release), Wonder Lust has a confidence and cohesion that seems to reflect the current lineup of New Sincerity Works, which features guitarist/singer Klug, drummer Greg Tudor (who plays bass in Klug’s band), legendary local bassist Bob Nyswonger (foundational member of a Cincinnati Pop Rock juggernauts like psychodots, The Raisins and The Bears), singer/keyboardist Lauren Bray and guitarist Mike Landis, another veteran who has performed in local groups like Promenade and The Great Modern. It says a lot about Tittel’s songs that he has been able to enlist such a murderers’ row of players for New Sincerity Works. 

Tittel’s creative evolution goes hand-in-hand with the thematic development advanced across the band’s three albums. Using songwriting as catharsis amid the kind of life changes that often lead to a “mid-life crisis,” Tittel told CityBeat after 2015’s Nowadays album that his three full-length statements were emerging as a “trilogy,” with the first album confronting grief and the second album representing someone of a reflective, uncertain-but-hopeful rebuilding period (with eyes on the past, present and future). Wonder Lust seems to be the resolve, showcasing a humble acceptance, comfort and appreciation for where life has gone with wisdom, grace and empathy. 

While the conceptual themes add an extra compelling layer to New Sincerity Works, fans of catchy, smart Pop Rock can dive in anywhere and find much to enjoy — no “big picture” context required. Wonder Lust is devoid of clunkers, but highlights include the warm, twinkling opener “I’ve Got You,” the rollicking “Just Like Vapor,” which shimmies and shines like an outtake from Big Star’s sessions for the classic #1 Record (albeit with swirling synth squiggles from a later era, a recurrent texture on the album), and the unforgettable title track, which is as good of a new Pop Rock song as you’ll hear in 2017. Wonder Lust revels in the recalibrating, resurrective power of song and melody. New Sincerity Works’ albums come by their timeless nature effortlessly, eschewing forced of-the-moment tricks or fads for a resonating emotional honesty that makes them feel less like “product” and more like an urgent Pop manifesto. 

New Sincerity Works celebrates Wonder Lust’s release this Saturday with a free performance at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). Wake the Bear — the solo project of former Promenade frontman Scott Cunningham — comes out of hibernation to open the show at 10 p.m. 

For more on New Sincerity Works, visit newsincerityworks.comWonder Lust is available through the site as a download and it can also be ordered on vinyl and CD (the album can also be downloaded on many of the major digital retail sites and streamed on the big streamers, like Spotify and Soundcloud).

Pure Pop Radio Reviews Wonder Lust

Michael Tittel

Mike Tittel’s outfit sits on the fringe of where pop and rock meet for drinks on a Sunday afternoon, crafting inspired bellwether works fueled by a variety of influence.

Alternative leanings meet pop songcraft meet a traditional rock and roll base on songs like “Find a Way Home,” an atmospheric mid-tempo ballad whose lengthy intro sets an emotional mood; “To Be Kissed Like That,” a lovely song that builds nicely and sports sensitive guitar lines; and the title number, a lively pop-rocker that sounds for all the world like U2, if Bono and company had more finite pop leanings. Tittel, aided and abetted by a more than able fellowship filled out by Roger Klug, whose singular pop-rock has been a Pure Pop Radio staple for two decades, Greg Tudor, Bob Nyswonger, Mike Landis, and Lauren Bray, has made a fine specimen, a record for dipping into for listeners inspired by the art of craft.

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The Celebrity Cafe Reviews Wonder Lust

Michael Tittel

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Rockers New Sincerity Works hits all the right notes with love-drenched album, ‘Wonder Lust’

What is so legitimate about the New Sincerity Works band moniker is that at its core it is a departure from the warped, cold, hard and unfeeling world of corporate America.  Behind the story to the band’s name, the band’s founder, Mike Tittel says:  “New sincerity is a legit post-modern aversion to cynicism and skepticism.  It’s a movement of sorts.  I thought this described my creative compass really well.  I think the best songs are universal and descriptive or genuine emotion, so the name fit my idea of this project.  It is also a reference to Austin bands I loved in the nineties, like The Reivers.”

Formed in the summer of 2014, New Sincerity Works consists of Mike Tittel (songs, singing, drums, keyboards), Roger Klug (guitar, singing), Lauren Bray (singing, keyboards), Greg Tudor (drums, singing, pedal steel), Bob Nyswonger (bass, singing), and Mike Landis (guitar, keyboards).

New Sincerity Works’ brand of rock music brings to the fold an interesting inlay of melodic rock, pop-infused songs that traces frantic playing, frenzied combination of vocals, a riff-raff of fuzzed out guitars, and synth-heavy based tracks.

Their new album, Wonder Lust, basically follows this pattern of aggressively sugared pop/rock collection of songs.  The record opens up with, “I’ve Got You,” filled with warbling synths and a soaring feel to the track.  The over-the-top sounds coming from the acoustic guitar gives off an intoxicating indie-rock vibe.  The great wash of melodic guitars, reverberating guitar riffs, and harmonious waves of vocals add an addicting pop cadence to the overall grainy feel of the track.  About finding someone who will be their anchor and rock, this warm track infuses an airy sense to the overall rock vibe.

“Just Like Vapor” starts out with a great electric vibe on the guitars.  The balanced rock sound is imbued with an enthused indie flavor.  The electric guitar could be heard mid-track.  The song oscillates between a rock paved sound to an electronic and synth-based cadence.  The great flares of electronic modes on the track might remind one of some space-inspired beats.

“Love To Love The Love” begins with some epic spiraling guitars that is sweeping in its entirety.  The harmonious sounds with its melodic interworking on the guitar and reverb-drenched vocals make for an infectious vibe on this softer sounding ballad.

“Midwest Reverie” is a simple song interlaced by the now familiar stellar twangs of guitar and vocals.  The sparse arrangement has the track gradually pick up with some fast and vibrant drums.  This song, soaked with nostalgia leans towards a more melancholy bent.

“Without Us” is filled with a great array of atmospheric sounds.  Ambient synths, moody guitars and the combination of howling vocals go on to introduce a couple who have proven they are a good team and doesn’t know what to do without each other.  Radio-active guitar solos go on to feed into the amped feel of the track.  A great pop/rock anthem with a soaring electronic vibe, the harmonious vocals interwoven together really go on to create a dynamic layered effect.

“Find A Way Home” contains soaring synths and some rocking guitars backed with the twang of synths.  This track is a great coalescing of rocks sounds.  The great vibe is paved with a long intro with the vocals starting in with its reverberating quality.  With a retro ’80s vibe to the track, New Sincerity Works has concocted a New Wave/psychedelic approach to their sound on this song.  About keeping your memories close even though the distance may grow over time, the track carries some really great tunes and inviting harmonies.

“The Company We Keep” continues with a melodious pop sound.  With a great flow to this track, this intoxicating rock song follows through with the clashing of fuzzed out guitars, drums and energetic synths.

The title-track, “Wonder Lust” is a fully charged song with a definite amped feel.  Dressed in melodic harmonic refrains, the careening of drums and a cascading wall of guitars, the pop cadence on this moving track is invigorating.  Filled with a positive message, the feel-good song tells its listeners to stay motivated and to always attempt to go down the path less trodden.

The love lore themes are still heavy on such tracks like on the resonating, sleepy ballad, “To Be Kissed Like That” that erupts with the twang of acoustic guitar, and the heavy strumming interrupted intermittently by the flaring of synths on the song, “Hearts Transplant.”

New Sincerity Works’ love drunken revelries are concocted through a veil of vibrant choruses, harmonious playing and renderings that could be best described as a “journey of intoxicating rock music.”

Wonder Lust is an album that taps into the fundamentals of love as an emotion and as a mode of living.  The band’s genuine style and copious imaginations are honed in these 10 excellent songs about madly falling in love, falling out of love, hearts, lips, lust, and overall love.  Though not necessarily love songs, these songs are indefinitely about love.

A great web of intricate sounds filled with the glaze of gossamer cadences, New Sincerity Works is a band unafraid to utilize acoustic instruments as well as digital production into their music.  Wonder Lust is a record filled with a warm sound dressed in the familiar pluckings of acoustic instrumentation as well as electronic nodes and synths.

New Sincerity Works’ hazy and dreamy works of artistic merit are driven by the combined harmonies of frenzied singing, the warmth of acoustic instruments, and with the technological help of electronic beats and ambient synths make them one of this year’s must-listens.  Be sure you give these set of love themed songs a listen today.  They will definitely be worth your while!

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Cincinnati Magazine Interview September 2017

Michael Tittel

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New Sincerity Works is an aberration. There’s no endless assault of self-promotion; it’s simply a group of lifer musicians in the Cincinnati scene who know how to make music and enjoy making it together. Last month, the Mike Tittel–fronted six-piece released its third album, Wonder Lust, a synthed-up, guitar-heavy exploration of looking for love while getting older.

On how the band got together: “I trace it back to when I yelled at [Tittel] for a fluffed tom-tom fill in 1996.”
—Roger Klug, guitar

“We were already intertwined friends going to see each other’s bands. [This group] went from a lo-fi, mobile unit that I thought would play every once in a while to, on stage, this armada of sound.” —Mike Tittel, vocals, guitar, & drums

On the shift in sound on the new album: “The first album was a desperate thing. There was a lot of pain on it. As we evolve through the years and become less miserable, we write less miserable songs. Now we’re looking at the beauty side of things.” —Bob Nyswonger, bass

“Unlike the first album, I was aware of this pool of talent. I left room when I wrote because I knew these guys would fill it up.” —Tittel

On why Lauren joined the group for this record: “That’s my main role in the band—the person who knows the lyrics.”
—Lauren Bray, vocals & keyboards

On their motivation: “It’s a lifestyle. It’s almost like you have to do it.” —Klug

“Not to sound corny, but I don’t play unless I like the people I’m with. I don’t do this because I’m making money at it.” —Greg Tudor, drums & pedal steel

“I do it for the money.” —Mike Landis, guitar, keyboards & vocals

“My hope is that we leave behind this Cincinnati box set that someone unearths someday.” —Tittel

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MUSIC NEWS UK: Record Review of Wonder Lust

Michael Tittel

Wonder Lust, the latest record from Cincinnati indie rockers, New Sincerity Works is full of the kind of ethereal yet familiar songs that provide a soundtrack to those daily miracle moments as described above. Songs to haphazardly stumble upon love to. To roll and tumble through its ups and downs and come out a new person on the other side. 

You're visiting an old friend in a new town. They show you around their city, getting wrapped up in various nighttime escapades. Everything has the crackling energy of the unfamiliar and you attack the night with no fear of the coming dawn. There are no hometown responsibilities to haunt you, no ghosts in the walls. After varying courses of food and wine and whisky and music, you end up at a house party in an old neighbourhood where a bohemian collective have built a community. Strings of Christmas lights criss-cross the backyard, cheerful dogs mingle with the crowd. Someone's playing acoustic guitar on a picnic table and it actually doesn't suck. Tomorrow, they're headlining the Town Hall, tonight it's Chez Casey's porch. You venture inside and settle into a weird bamboo chair. Someone passes you a joint and you start talking about 1920's surrealists. You decide you don't want it to end, the conversation lasts years. Your lives merge and you've found a new home. In the background, New Sincerity Works is playing. 
cWonder Lust, the latest record from Cincinnati indie rockers, New Sincerity Works is full of the kind of ethereal yet familiar songs that provide a soundtrack to those daily miracle moments as described above. Songs to haphazardly stumble upon love to. To roll and tumble through its ups and downs and come out a new person on the other side. 

Wobbling playful synths give way to earnestly strummed acoustic guitars and pensive suspended chords. Singer and bandleader, Mike Tittel details falling backwards into love on the opener, 'I've Got You'. “I'm getting lost in the right direction/There's no need for a course correction/ Baby, I found you”. The band sucks in for the verses so it can explode into fireworks of elation for the triumphant choruses. 

The album maintains a fairly even clip throughout, mostly sticking to that mid-tempo rock to keep you entranced. 'Midwest Reverie' takes stock of hopes and dreams while landlocked in the middle of America. Symbolically, the all-American melodies are interwoven with spacey tangents. Tittel's lyrics are once again plain-spoken yet intelligent and poetic. The closer 'Hearts Transplanted' as expected has that string of melancholy sewn through a track that looks back on a love that sparked, grew and faded out. You look back with a certain fondness but with an acceptance that what's past has past. The final thought: “And you're not just anyone, anymore” sticks in the mind after the last notes ring out. 

New Sincerity Works have created an album that has captured a certain magic. That ephemeral spark and its multitude of tangents. The band does incredible justice to Tittel's songwriting, being at times a powerhouse, lifting the track's to new heights and at times, perfectly transparent, allowing the lyrics and emotions to take centre stage in their rawest form. Look for it in the background of the next Sofia Coppola movie.

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unclumsy record reviews: Tittel Turns out an Ardent, Important Second Effort

Michael Tittel

Another excellent review of Nowadays from the kind man at unclumsy!

unclumsy The Aubernaire

The Auburnaire

Tittel Turns out an Ardent, Important Second Effort 
In 1988 the Cincinnati band The Auburnaires released Bedtime Stories, on the French label, New Rose. I didn't understand then and don't understand now how, pre-internet, a label based in France and a singular post-punk, funk mash-up from Cincinnati found each other but I'm more and more convinced these days that good art – even rock music – seeks its own path, like water telegraphing across a rafter before it finds its way down your interior wall on the other side of the real leak. 

If you search eBay for that Auburnaires vinyl record today, you'll find that most copies are available from England. So, it was an import in its day – out of my price range at Everybody's Records in Cincinnati when I was a kid – and it's an import today, further away from Cincinnati as it ever was and right at home there, I suspect. 

I bring this up as I had the good fortune to work on the liner notes for the latest New Sincerity Works record, Nowadays, this past summer and hearing it played back now – all lively and compressed and perfectly mixed by Mike Landis and, especially, as a counterpoint to their first record – I'm certain it's destined for and deserving of a bigger home outside of Ohio, too. 

Mike Tittel, the songwriter behind New Sincerity Works, spent time as the touring drummer for the legendary underground outfit The Loud Family in the 1990s, built a studio and a home and a family in the Queen City, then got divorced, tied himself up in personal and career knots, tried to figure himself out, and still managed to assemble a dream team for V2.0 of his band: Bob Nyswonger on bass, Roger Klug and Tom White on guitar, Greg Tudor on drums, to say the very least. By 2014, he had issued the critically acclaimed 44 which chronicled a particularly difficult time in his life, falling apart in real time while a crowd of a friends inched him forward at turns, congratulating him either for the honesty of the emotions at the surface or for simply surviving the crash landing. 

His new record, though, catches Tittel at an absolute creative peak, confident in his forward direction and having sharpened his songwriting craftsmanship to a fine point. It brims with a cautious hope from start to finish that edges the listener from one track to the next in a way only really great albums can. From "Dreams Worth Keeping" to "Champion" to "Learning to Walk, " Tittel walks the listener through something that feels a lot like redemption yet is careful to swap out any high-minded preachiness for an influx of urgent, perfect drumming, an unmistakable ‘72 Telecaster, and beautifully washy keyboards. 

Before you know it, just five or six songs in, you’ve wandered through the best Side A of any record from a Cincinnati-based band since The Afghan Whigs' 1998 masterwork Gentlemen. Trust me on this, I know my shit. 

To wit: The first video from the record (for the title track) starts in the expansive, stark black and white landscape of Iceland before landing back in Cincinnati and falling away at the end with "Don't Walk" countdown timer of a downtown street sign. It’s a perfectly executed window into the rest of the album: half-home, half-away-from home, mid-step, hope mashed with resignation. 

With 2014’s 44, Tittel covered the first two stages of grief: attack and decay. Nowadays, it’s clear, is his effort to sustain. In the course of assembling the songs and band that make up this record, Tittel has made an album for the ages, no matter if it ends up in a cut-out-bin in France, in your dreams, erased over on a cassette, or spinning around on your turntable. Don’t miss out. 

– Jon Roketenetz