Christian And The Sinners
The Perversion Of Something Good (Live At CIUT)
Their press release calls their music post-punk noir. I call it dark and dangerous. The Perversion of Something Good is the first release from Christian and the Sinners, and it definitely is — something good.
A stalwart of the Toronto rock club scene (perhaps best known for fronting the rockabilly outfit Christian D and the Hangovers), Christian DeArmond has created something new and wonderful with this, his latest offering. The heavy rhythm section and driving guitars on this EP are the perfect palate for DeArmond to present his dark tales. With a whisky-soaked swagger in his voice, DeArmond drops his songs at the listener’s feet, with his committed and passionate baritone.
A traditional rock and roll line-up, performing songs like “Blood On The Frozen Sand” and “Heart’s Gonna Bleed”, Christian and the Sinners present like the dark and possibly disturbed nephews of Nick Cave and late-1990s-era Fred Eaglesmith. The subject matter is heavy and so is the sound, packing a visceral punch. The solid drumming and bass playing by Julian Vardy and Craig Reid, respectively, keep this recording rooted. The drums are well-mic’d, and the bass is full and present. Sean Sewell’s lead guitar is the perfect complement to DeArmond’s rhythmic guitar hooks. In the song “Environmental Blues”, Sewell’s guitar solo is like a game of chicken with a freight train: a tense and frenetic build-up to a near-death experience, with the guitarist dodging the train just as it passes
Recorded live off the floor at CIUT in Toronto, this collection of tunes is well-recorded and balanced. At first listen, the sound seemed to lean toward being a bit bottom-heavy, but this appears to be a stylistic choice. All of the instruments and vocals come through well.
Owing to the band configuration, a consistent sound exists on the EP from song to song. Other standout performances here include the Jim Morrison-inspired vocal vibe on “Heart’s Gonna Bleed” and the exciting electric cabaret of “Church”. Overall, this is a great recording. If you like your music on the dark side, do yourself a favour and get this EP.