Thursday, October 30, 2014

Charm City Devils SINS – Album Review

“I won’t stop, I’ll push through, in spite of you.” - John Allen

“It’s a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll” – Bon Scott

Charm City Devils (CCD) new albumSINS is 11 tracks of instantly catchy rock with a modern production that elevates the material while retaining the rawness of the guitars and vocals.

The writers of RUFKM have been rocking out to an advance streaming version of the album for a couple weeks now (courtesy of Amanda at ABC-PR) and are finally getting around to writing a review.

Perhaps you’ve heard of CCD.  The Baltimore based band had some nice exposure a few years ago when they were signed to Nikki Sixx’s Eleven Seven records, toured with Motley on Crue Fest in 2009, and named Best New Rock Band by iTunes that same year.  Their debut album was a straight up shot of classic rock and while frontman John Allen was a dead ringer for John Rzeznik, his vocals sounded like dead singer Bon Scott of AC/DC.  RUFKM subjected CCD to our famous “13 Stupid Questions
Not the Goo Goo DollsNot Charm City Devils

Fast Forward to 2012.  While CCD is no longer on Eleven Seven records–presumably after Nikki realized John Allen wasn’t actually John Rzeznik — their album SINS drops tomorrow hot on the heels of their popular “Man of Constant Sorrow” cover.  CCD puts a unique rock twist on the folk song from the Coen Brother’s “O Brother Where Art Thou?” movie.  It has had solid airplay and an unofficial “lyrics video” of the track has had over 150,000 views on YouTube since it was posted in January.  The official and unofficial videos are posted below.  You’ll have to pick which one you like better.  One features Nosferatu and a bunch of words, the other has a hot blonde that knows how to work a shovel and scenes of forest joggers.  Full album review after the break.

SINS starts with the scorching track “Spite” which comes at you “like a motherfuckin’ freight train” and is the template for the rest of the album; great riff, infectious chorus, excellent production, zero fat.

We could do a track by track listing breaking down the album like real rock critics but that bores us to death.  Produced by Grammy award winner Skidd Mills (Saliva, Rev Theory, Sick Puppies) SINS builds on CCD’s classic rock foundation, taking them to next level both musically and sonically.  We recommend downloading the entire album immediately, if not sooner.

Pure Rock Fury: Spite, Untouchable, Man of Constant Sorrow, Blame, Still Alive, Love N War

Also Solid: Devil is a Woman, Problem, All You’ll Ever Need, Walk Away, Start It Up

Flush Twice and Burn The Toilet: Amazingly, none which is rare.  The only one that comes close is Start It Up because it seems so average compared to the rest — but it has cowbell, so it survives.

Instead of a bloated 60 minute collection of everything a band has ever recorded, this album is streamlined to 11 tracks and 35 minutes.  It flows from start to finish.  There’s a reason that bands used to have “unreleased tracks” or b-sides.

Less is more.  Unless its cowbell.

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