Kind of a redundant entry title, ain’t it?
Anyway – Saturday night I went to the Middle East Night Club for the Emergenza Festival, specifically to see Sin City Chainsaw. As we had hoped, they lived up to our expectations, being a great, heavy, fun band.
Sin City Chainsaw is stoner rock epitomized, with chunky, grinding guitars churning out catchy riffs that evoke Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Monster Magnet, Kyuss, and Queens of the Stone Age. While not particularly break-through in their delivery, they are solid, and provide a great fix for the rocker needing a loud hit of some guitars, drums, bass and vocals working together to wake up the outer reaches of the universe.
Sin City Chainsaw are awesome live. They are obviously enjoying themselves, and the lead singer, Curtis Caswell, fills the roll of rock n’ roll front man perfectly, hitting all the bases: calling out for more noise from the audience, jumping into the crowd, leaning WAY back to wail into the mic (I’ve never seen anyone quite that flexible), and taking off his shirt to expose a disturbing number of tattoos.
On the record, the production is top-notch, and letting the guitars, bass, and drums work together to create a powerful wall of sound without creating nothing but noise. My only criticism of the disc is that Caswell tries a bit too hard to recreate the energy of the live show and ends up keeping his vocals and energy levels so high on record that you actually find yourself getting tired listening to him, and wishing that he’d give you a moment’s rest. I almost feel bad for the guy – he might want to mellow out with some miracle weed himself.
What results is a record with very little "breathing room" in the vocals, which creates almost no drama or tension in the songs. Sometimes other bands creates songs that don’t quite pay off the way that you hope they would – never quite reach that bombastic crescendo that you are waiting for. Sin City goes straight there, which is great for a while, but leaves no place to go. At some point during the course of the 11-song disc, you begin to wish for something to help pace things out – either a slow, soft bridge, or an eerie low spoken voice vocal, or hell, even a power ballad, just to give us a chance to enjoy all the high points of the music and better appreciate the energy that is being exuded.
Its nothing that a little bit of experienced record producing wouldn’t be able to guide into the songs, and I hope that they get a chance to work with someone like that. Ironically, the record has "coke dealer" listed as the producer – if they can find "ganja smoker" as a co-conspirator and mellowing influence, Sin City Chainsaw would be golden.