Sin City Sinners play regularly in venues all over Las Vegas, so if you’re in town you have a good chance of catching up with them. As you should. These guys throw one hell of a party. We caught up with them in March at Vinyl in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, playing to a supercharged crowd that featured the kind of mix you only find in Vegas, soccer moms and dads, off-duty strippers, middle-aged businessmen, college bros, sorority girls, and at least one profoundly jet-lagged Boston-based writer. Many of them were fresh out of the Ded Flatbird/ Def Leppard show, eager to keep rocking into the wee hours, and the Sinners obliged with covers of everything from AC/DC to the Violent Femmes.
In addition to playing the most diverse cover set I’ve ever seen, the Sinners also write and perform their own material. With a lineup that features Brent Muscat (formerly of Faster Pussycat and incredibly gracious to writers suffering profound jetlag) and Todd Kerns (when he’s not out on the road with Slash), how could they not?
The Sinners have released two albums of original songs– one full-length and one acoustic EP– and a Christmas album. Their first studio album, Exile on Fremont Street, was released in 2010. A new album with the band’s current lineup– including Rob Cournoyer on drums and Zach Throne on lead vocals and bass– may be forthcoming this year. But while we wait for that and for their next appearance in Vegas– this weekend if you’re in town– let’s take a look back at their debut. If you can’t make it to one of their shows, this recording is the next best thing, capturing the rollicking energy of their performances.
1) Numb– A powerful riff and pounding drums provide an upbeat backing for somewhat dark lyrics that may or may not be about sex and drugs.
2) Turn It Up– Proving that I am, as always, a sucker for a great bass line.
3) It’s Not You, It’s Me– Great title. Great rhythm that makes you want to dance.
4) Ah! Leah– The original recording (Donnie Iris) is a guilty radio pleasure for me– and I’m guessing I’m not alone on this. The harder edge on this version takes the guilt away.
5) Arianna Incomplete– This track comes closer to being a ballad than any other on the album up to this point, but it’s got a heavier sound and quicker tempo than most. I’m not so crazy about the lyrics, but the musicality here saves the day.
6) Blow Up Doll– Of course this is a song.
7) Bigtime Superstar– Definitely moving into ballad territory here. Blues and acoustic guitar stylings, and lyrics that slow down the party, but an insightful look at the celebrity experience.
8) Gotta Girl– Trashy lyrics and guitars give us a true glam sound and brings the Sunset Strip to The Strip.
9) My True Love– An anthem to celebrate the joys of music. Or maybe it’s about a girl. But I think it’s about rock n’ roll.
10) Probable Cause– Drum-driven and joyfully, sinfully exuberant loudness.
11) Goin’ to Vegas– If you’re not packing your bags and booking a ticket right now, then something is missing. Listen to it again. You’ll get it.