I’m not, nor have I ever been, what you’d call a fan of SINNER. Lead my PRIMAL FEAR bassist Mat Sinner, the band is sort of Sleaze Rock version of German Melodic Metal – imagine if C.C. DeVille joined ACCEPT and used Bret Michaels as co-songwriter. That pretty much sums up SINNER. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Hard Rock plenty, but something with SINNER just doesn’t do it for me. I mean, if I want to hear Hard Rock in the vein of PRIMAL FEAR’s mid-paced tracks, I’ll just listen to PRIMAL FEAR's mid-paced tracks.
SINNER’s newest release, “Crash & Burn”, continues right where their last left off. You get Mat Sinner’s mid-range, slightly gruff vocals, coupled with a sturdy rhythm section and enjoyable lead guitars. While the album isn’t anything special in the riff department, the far and away best element to be found on “Crash & Burn” are the leads and solos. The lead melody in “Heart Of Darkness” may be the best part of album overall (it’s also my pick for best song on the album), while “Connection” is straight out of the THIN LIZZY school of Blues Rock. However, the majority of “Crash & Burn” is throwaway, clichéd Hard Rock, that is capped off by the ill-advised cover of “Little Head”. The song, which was a minor hit for a minor band (MARVELOUS 3 – who I actually enjoy from time to time), just sounds plain silly. Whoever okayed this had to be either drunk or delirious – although the German sense of humor is certainly odd at times, so maybe this was meant as a joke.
“Crash & Burn” isn’t an offensive album by any means (with the exception of the cover song), but just like SINNER’s past releases, it isn’t anything special either. The production is crisp and clean, the songs are simple and catchy, and for many that’s all they’ll be looking for in a record of this sort. For me though, for whatever reason, it’s not enough.
(Online February 15, 2009)