Review: Sainted Sinners – Taste It
Rock Of Angels Records (November 26th)
Reviewer: Chris O’ Connor
This is an interesting release, to my knowledge it’s the fourth by international Hard Rockers Sainted Sinners and is the first for their new label. The band is a quintet founded by German guitarist Frank Pane, and is rounded out by American bass guitarist Rico Bowen, Hungarian drummer Berci Mirleman, while keyboardist Ernesto Ghezzi and vocalist Jacapo ‘Jack’ Meille are both Italian. You will doubtless know of the latter due to his fronting Tygers Of Pan Tang.
Let’s get the BIG criticism out of the way first thing. What on Gaia was the band thinking of when they decided to record a cover of R.E.M’s ‘Losing My Religion’? (even if it is a bonus track), it simply does not fit in comfortably anywhere on the album. Now granted, I am not a fan of the original, as I have very little time for the annoying Atlanta band initially. So, moving swiftly along…
Opening proceedings with the gloriously melodic ‘Against The Odds’, the band fairly erupt of the blocks in blistering form, it’s a terrific statement of intent, highlighting that the band is both comprised of talented songwriters, and that they can collectively play the hell out of their instruments. Following through with the hugely melodic ‘One Today’, a wonderful mid-paced song with a great riff and a wonderful guitar solo to boot.
‘The Essence Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is a solid enough number, but the slightly funky feel is at odds with what has come before – it’s a minor niggle really, and the chorus has a good sing-a-long feel to it. ‘Out Of Control’ has a pulsing/growling bass line that drives the tune along nicely. Jacapo proves again what a terrific singer he is here, he really nails this one, and Ernesto throws in a nice short Jon Lord-esque solo that really works well.
‘Never Back Down’ has a kind of Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow vibe to it, which is cool, again, Jacapo sings with real power and confidence, it’s a great ‘stomping’ number. The band follows up with another higher paced Rainbow meets Y&T number in the form of ‘Good Ol’ Company’, which fairly flies past with a blistering riff and screaming guitar solo from Frank. For me, this is one of my favourite moments.
‘Down & Dirty’ has a funky bump ‘n’ grind ‘thing’ going on, where ‘Essence Of…’ kind of felt unnatural, here the band evokes the essence of prime-time Dan Reed Network somehow jamming with ‘3’ Era Van Halen, and this genuinely works well. The album’s final ‘proper’ track is the brilliant ‘On & On (Chained)’, a smouldering melodic number, with a fabulous chorus and a marvellous mid-section that shouldn’t work, but simply does anyway.
If you enjoy Classic Rock played with style and elan, you could do a lot worse than invest in ‘Taste It’ – it’s a very good album that falls just short of greatness.