Sin and Tonic. Brilliant! Why didn’t any other sleazy hard rock band ever think of using that as a title for an album?
I can’t answer that, of course, but the sad thing is the title is, to my mind anyway, probably the most outstanding thing about this album. It doesn’t suck, you understand – far from it – but it’s just a little too ‘meh’ in places for me, a bit safe when danger is what sleaze is all about. And why oh why do a heavy metal version of an English folk ballad?
I don’t want to be too down on this album, because I have listened to it a fair bit, and there are some highlights worthy of comment. Opening track If You Wanna Rock Me has all the piss and vinegar you want from this kinda schtick… gonzo gang vocals on the chorus, some serious tone going on in the lead guitar department; But then Bone Dry Jessie pretty much follows the same template, the effect lessening due to the similarity of the two tracks. The foghorn vocals of singer Kris might cause a few problems to delicate ears too – the man has two positions on his throat control– silent and VERY LOUD, meaning that fans of nuance and phrasing might well struggle after about ten minutes of the man’s vocal sandblasting.
Again, he ain’t a bad singer – Junkyard Drive ain’t a bad band – it’s just all a bit much in one go for the fainthearted I feel.
Drama Queen hammers along at the same high velocity clip, guitars set to raunch – Birk (lead) and Benjamin (rhythm) really do run a nice line in Izzy n’Slash dynamics – but the ‘sing it, shout it’ chorus again replicates what’s gone before – are you getting an idea of what’s going on here?
All the same it’s impossible not to like these young scamps – their hearts are in the right place that’s for sure – and when they do slow down a bit for the Zeppelin-informed blues of Natural High you’ll actually stop what you’re doing and find yourself swept up by the gargantuan grandeur of it all.
If they could mix it up a bit more and finesse the whole thing – I understand this is sleaze but there’s definitely a bit of room for an ol’ fashioned buffing – then this band really could attain the heights it so obviously aspires to. But there’ll be no room for overblown nonsense like Geordie, I’ll tell you that for nothing….
If I’m being honest there are many good points to this record, and if your resistance levels to bombastic vocalisation are higher than mine then you might just like a drop of Sin and Tonic very much indeed…
Sin and Tonic will be released on 17th February by Mighty Music.