Original Sinners

Original Sinners

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Original Sinners Review

by Kim Reick Kunoff

Supported by a stellar cast of musicians, including members of the Distillers and Sluts for Hire, L.A. punk chanteuse Exene Cervenka makes a welcome return as frontwoman for Original Sinners, displaying a fire and focus not seen since her days in X. The album opens with the scorching "Birds & Bees," driven by exhilarating surf beats and punk guitar breaks. Songs about white-trash love gone wrong abound, but always with a wry, ironic twist that is uniquely Cervenka's. The alcohol-drenched country-rock duet between Cervenka and Jason Edge, "Whiskey for Supper," recalls her off-key harmonizing with John Doe; her lyrics are characteristically and hilariously skewed ("I need a little bartenderness/Assault and flattery/Pleading internally...Spin the bottle, spin the bed/Crazy in love or crazy instead?"). "One Too Many Lies" starts as just another twangy been-done-wrong-by-a-cheatin'-man song and ends as a sort of gritty, redneck feminist anthem ("You said a woman should learn her place/That's the one lie that I'm talking about/Really you know I don't mind the rest/That's the one lie that made me/Tear up my wedding dress") that's propelled by blazing steel-guitar riffs and driving rhythms. Several instrumentals serve to showcase the greener musicians' chops (lest they be upstaged by Cervenka's distinct vocals?): Soto's "Alligator Teeth" and "Mourning After" and the Cervenka-penned album-closer, "Tick Tock." This is a great first effort from Original Sinners that'll have nostalgic X fans thrilling.

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