ROLAND K SMITH & THE SINNERS – BREAKING HEARTS AND SAVING SOUL
- Emma Barnett
- Saturday, 1 September 2012
If you thought bluegrass was a half-crazed hillbilly strain of country music, have a listen to Roland K Smith & The Sinners. Smith and his band of brothers manage to merge the twang of bluegrass with the agility of blues, the attitude of rock, with a hint of punk. A result of an epic 18 months in the studio Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls spans 12 tracks, each wielding their own special brand of spunk. Likened to Ryan Adams, Roland Smith’s comprehensible, (albeit simple) lyrics suit the direct, raw energy of their songs. Second track Stuck On You has undeniable cheeky drive, with a frisky banjo and a racing stream of lyrics – dare you to not bootscoot to this one. Meanwhile, Three Day Pass channels The Snowdroppers with a jiving bass line, Bon Scott-esque screeching lyrics and dirty blues guitar solos. Just as you were going to write this off as a country album Smith throws in some punk with the dark, discordant Two Men, not unlike Nirvana with a slowly twisting bassline, and ominous low-register vocals, all lined with the slow crash of cymbals. And just to prove their versatility the quintet snaps straight back to another banjo-adorned classic country track, I’ll Write You In the Morning. ***1/2
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