(5 / 5)
Debut album from British hard rockers Saints Of Sin, to capitalise on the impact of their first release, the self-released demo EP, “The Seven Deadly Sins”. The band mark four years since they formed on the South coast of England, and have built up a decent following and a credible reputation while touring the length and breadth of the UK since 2103.
The band features brothers Marcus “Sparxx” Jenkins on guitar and Ash Jenkins on bass, Rui Brito on vocals, Josh Rose on drums and newest recruit, Sophie Burrell also on guitar. All five sing backing vocals. They have performed at the Isle of Wight Festival, headlined a stage at the Hard Rock Hell and graced the stage at the 02 Academy.
They deliver 13 classy and polished cuts here, opening with the short, Ringmaster’s spoken word and circus music segment, “The Ballad Of The Big Top”, and closing with “21 Shots”. The songs penned by, and the album produced by very clever boy “Sparxx”.
With the first track proper, the title cut “Welcome To The Circus”, it starts off as it means to go on with some ballsy, slick, polished, powerful, commercial rock; very strong vocal and solid as concrete musicianship. In a similar vibe to Guns N Roses. You can just visualise the OTT hard rock shapes thrown on stage by the front line. These guys, and a gal, would be well at home up on the main stage at Download next summer.
“Rocket” continues the pace and the power, with another uber-commercial rocker. Drums and bass locked in tight, as they do across the entire album. Nice twin guitar section. These people can really play…this singer can really sing. Not always the case, especially on a lot of the rock stuff being sent out, lately!
After two full songs, it is pretty impressive that this lot are A: British, and B: dropping their debut album, considering just how good they sound. C: Not old blokes been doing it for decades. This is a young band, folks. An Arena and Stadium-ready act. When they are playing the pubs and clubs, I do hope the venues all have up-to-date building’s insurance! They are LOUD.
“After Dark”, doesn’t relent on the ‘in your grill’ hard rock attitude, some luscious guitar work from both players; really, really cool. “Wasted Nights” has a Whitesnake/Bon Jovi vibe to it. The first single from this album. “One Last Time” and “Running” are both fine cuts. But “Turn It Up” is a standout song; surely going to become a much-requested live staple for the band. Some sizzling guitar work included.
The mid-tempo “One More Minute”, at slot # nine is the first track to quieten things down a tad, and works well as an ear-break from the loud and rocking stuff. The twin guitar break reminded of the great Thin Lizzy. This track ripe for a decent single choice maybe.
“Heroin” is another mid-tempo offering, and some gorgeous guitar. “The Devil You Need” is a cleverly arranged song, and the harmony vocals add huge value. Got to credit the production skills across this record, for sure. The marathon five minute and 10 seconds of “Going Down”, taps into an AC/DC vibe and a bloody good song it is too. Primed to become a 2018 summer festival anthem for the band I’d bet.
The final cut, “21 Shots” kicks off in stripped back Bon Jovi territory; acoustic guitar and thumping bass drum, a raw and passionate vocal; before the full band join in the fun. Another commercial song that finishes things off nicely and to a consistently high standard.
Guitar nerds and bedroom shredders will get moist when they hear this lot and their two axe maniacs. I think we found a new British rock band who could well be up there with the Maidens and the Priests and the Leppards one day, with the right wind behind ‘em.
Mightily impressive for a debut album, which actually sounds more like album five or six from an established, signed, major league US rock band. Really. Major labels and top music management need to take a look/listen to this mob. Bands this “complete” and accomplished do not come along too often.
There’s lots of long hair, make-up (and that’s just the guys!) and trousers tighter than the Chancellor on budget day. So they look the part, but are far more than a tongue in cheek parody of a Spinal Tap/Steel Panther-type outfit. These guys are as serious as a heart attack as musicians,and they certainly have the songs. The voice and the guitars are truly world class.
50 minutes and nine seconds of deliciously raucous, classy rock music that could rocket this new UK band to stardom, if there is any justice. I bet their amplifiers all go up to 11 too – but don’t you dare touch ‘em! Don’t even look at them…
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’