SINNER - Tequila Suicide

April 4, 2017, 8 months ago

(AFM)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 8.0

review hard rock heavy metal sinner

SINNER - Tequila Suicide

Of course it's bassist/singer Mat Sinner's baby, but this is a far reaching musical project, closer to his touring (classic) Rock Meets (symphonic) Classic format, than a pure Germanic metal album: as is their decades' old history. Most noticeable is the main voice, nearly unrecognizable, in a lower register. Sure there are a couple of guest appearances, by Pete Lincoln (The Sweet) and Ricky Warwick (Black Star Riders/ex-The Almighty), but also odd instrumental choices and the acoustic guitar and country piano for the honky tonk, backing singer “Sinner Blues”. That's not to say the paeans to the mainman's muse, Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy (which frequently cropped up on past albums), have disappeared, far from it: the recurrent military cadence snare and fiddle of the “Battle Hill” duet, “'Road To Hell“ or heavier “Gypsy Rebels”. Just lots more varied samplings between the Irish pints!

Opener “Go Down Fighting” is a fun, loose, upbeat (almost punky, 2:37) construct (“Back in '84, when metal was a dinosaur”), complete with gang vocals, come the titular chorus. The title romp doffs a tip of the tam to Lizzy, offering up a tasty guitar run, as well. Metallic power chords to kick off the aforementioned “Road To Hell”, before setting into a Lynottt homage. Pounding drums atop brief interlude of Hammond organ begin “Dragons”, which equates the mythical beast with female relationships: “I sat in a bar with a wizard. He said, 'Son, let me tell you this. Be careful with a beautiful woman and don't be fooled by just one kiss.' Dragons are real. I can't argue with the facts. A dragon betrays and will stab you in the back.”

A simple, but infectious “Why” sneaks up on the senses, implanting itself in the subconscious, after just one or two listens. The guitar beginning “Loud & Clear” recalls an ‘80s Van Halen outtake, before settling into a mid-tempo number. First notes for “Dying On A Broken Heart” are plucked out of an acoustic guitar (which remains in undercurrent throughout the female backing singer accompanied tune) which has a Dire Straits vibe. Said track closes the proper disc, but there's a trio of bonuses on the digipak and (in a sign of the times) vinyl.

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