Friday, November 26, 2010
Review: Various Artists - "Saints and Sinners"
Saints and Sinners is a Wolverine Records compilation of bands from across Europe, Canada and the United States contributing punk, ska, and lots of psychobilly. Since about half the disc is psychobilly, I’m going to assume that the “sinners” are the psychobilly and horror punk acts and the “saints” are everything else. That’s all a guess, but it seems like it would make sense.
Most of the bands are fairly obscure, including acts like Strawberry Blondes and Rämouns, but including some bigger names like Gutter Demons and Sarah Blackwood. Blackwood’s catchy acoustic number, “Lonely Parade” is actually one of the best tracks of the comp despite sticking out like a pretty thumb. The Celtic punk of Pipes and Pints is extremely catchy while the Clerks' ska rendition of AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long” turns out exceptionally fun considering how played out the song is. Turbonegra is apparently a San Francisco Turbonegro cover band that contributes a pop-punk cover of “Rendesvous with Anus.”
Of the “sinners” tracks (the psychobilly and horror punk), the mid-tempo skatepsycho of the Sewer Rats with “Ridin’ Downtown” is the best of the bunch. Canada’s Gutter Demons also contribute the horrorific “House by the Cemetary” while Johnny Rocket breaks out the rockin’ “Drink Me Pretty.” The Spookshow make nice use of their male/female vocals on the Misfits-meets-folk melody of “Kneelin’ Drunkard’s Plea.”
Even with few big names in the “international punk scene,” Saints and Sinners is a helluvalotta fun. For its 21 tracks of psychobilly, punk, and ska, Wolverine Records have assembled a great collection on this disc.