The last thing you want to do with the new Saints Of The Underground album, 'Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner,' is listen to it on headphones. Most times I preview albums while at work through the computer on tiny headphones. Sure, you can get a sense of the music, but it certainly doesn't give you a full aural experience. I recommend that you listen SOTD with a clear amp and very good, bright speakers. This is the only way you will appreciate the richness of their music. When introduced to the players, you think you have tripped back in time you're correct. SOTD was formed by Bobby Blotzer (Ratt's drummer) and Keri Kelli (guitarist for Alice Cooper); they recruited Warrant vocalist, Jani Lane and Ratt's bassist, Robbie Crane to round out the band. They played cover songs if only for fun, but soon began writing their own tunes. The result is 'Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner,' a short disc of rowdy and melodic hard rock from an experienced crew.
Generally, I'm enthusiastic about this work; there's much to enjoy from beginning to end. And if you think, because of Jani Lane's vocals, you're getting the warmed over leftovers of Warrant, do not believe it. The opening cut 'Dead Man Shoes' and 'All In How You Wear It' will convince you otherwise. The latter is a great song simply because it's fine composition and satirical lyrics. Then there's 'Signs Of Life' which is hard and heavy bordering on melodic metal. The best number on the album comes at the end. 'Jimmy' reminds me of classic Thin Lizzy with Lane playing the part of Phil Lynott. Having said all this praise, there is some real goofiness (is that an adjective) on this album. For instance, the song 'Good Times' sounds like K.C. and the Sunshine Band burst in the studio and forced SOTD to incorporate their foolishness. Within, 'All In How You Wear It' the backing vocals sound like a girl band also interjected themselves. On the upside, SOTD covers two Tom Petty songs. Their interpretation of 'American Girl' is interesting, but will hardly make you forget the original.
Saints Of The Underground's 'Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner' is an impressive and enjoyable disc, yet hardly a monumental effort. It's not freshman caliber simply because of their extensive experience. There is extreme talent here. I think SOTD is a work in progress. So, I'm definitely hoping for more from this talented band. Recommended.
- Craig Hartranft
Saints Of The Underground unites some great musicians to create some impressive melodic hard rock that joins the past with present. Overall, it's an interesting and diverse work that shows better than great promise.