Sin City Success
Sin City Rejects Album Review
by Boris Lee
Punk music rose to defiance in the mid-nineteen-seventies amidst the angst energy of founding genre groups The Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, The Stooges, The Misfits, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, among others. There is an argument that thrash-metal music was born out of punk rock with fingers pointing at Motörhead as a prime example for such a theory. Interesting enough, both punk and thrash-metal music sight a need to have been created because mainstream music was watering down and mislabeling what ‘Rock-N-Roll’ music is defined as. Both genres forged musical energy and lyrical concepts from failing political and social ideals. Both musical genres are rooted in ‘Anti-establishment’ messaging. Both genres of music have been declared ‘Dead’ at one point or another. If death was defined as being thrust out into the commercial mainstream, then everything creatively successful eventually expires. Both genres would eventually become what they hate… mainstream commercially successful and replaced by the next big thing.
‘Punks’ will say that punk music never died. They are right. It never died. Like any other genre of music with substance, punk music crawled back into the shadows and evolved itself through the years, resurfacing at different times. Commercially successful bands like Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, Social Distortion (I know Social D were around in the seventies, but they were a bigger success during the punk music resurgence in the nineties.) and others prove that punk rock never died. It evolved.
With evolution, we find revolution. Revolution against the commercial music formula. Revolution as in coming full circle. Punk music is finding success again, the time in smaller batches and social patches. Punk music ‘Scenes’ are rising up. Los Angeles (where punk never died by any means), Portland, Seattle, Oklahoma City, Austin, New York, Chicago, other areas, and right here by me in North Carolina, punk is alive and drop-kicking! The founding surviving fathers of punk have been reuniting for tours, and newer punk rock acts are writing music that finds its roots in mid-nineteen-seventies punk pulverization.
Stepping up to the plate and swinging for the fences with their debut release, Death of a Nation, Las Vegas based punk rockers the Sin City Rejects, offer a heavy hitting homage to the heroes of punk music.
The title track to the album is a solid slam of old-school punk in lyrical concepts, taking topics from today’s touchy headlines. Instrumentally the song has a fun feel.
“23” is a great song about dating a mooching, toxic tramp that puts a laughable video scenario in my mind.
“Sadder Day” is another great tune with heart-felt angst about a modern day ‘Dear John letter’ break-up via text message. Instrumentally the band’s influence from The Ramones and The Misfits flourishes.
The rest of the album is definitely a true punk rock record. Lyrically, musically, and production wise, the Sin City Rejects deserve recognition for creating old-school punk music with a modern twist.
Guest appearances by Richie Ramone (The Ramones), Johnny Kelly (Danzig, Type-O-Negative) Peter Kizzire (Blue String Theory), Anthony “Tiny” Biuso (The Dickies, T.S.O.L.)help give the record resonance.
Though the record is a solid punk rock offering, the overall energy of the music is more fun filled that angst. Sin City Rejects have more of a nineteen-nineties Rancid feel, than a true to form mid-nineteen-seventies Stooges slam. However, Death of a Nation is a punk record at heart and fits right in with the Mohawk sporting, Chuck wearing, PBR chugging chaps.
I give the Sin City Rejects debut, Death of a Nation, four out of five raised horns.
You can find the Sin City Rejects at the links below: