I’ve been spinning this disc (literally, it arrived through Ye Old Postal Service-e) for a couple of weeks now as I’ve just not had the time to draft a review. Finally, a gap in my schedule so I can rattle off a few words about this really, really, really good rock album.
Welcome to the Circus is a debut album and as such will undoubtedly have got lost amongst the thousands of other debut albums that we’re deluged with regularly. Such is the music world these days. Anyone can run off a few songs in their bedroom with surprising quality if they take the time. However, not everyone can play really well, have good singing voices or know how to write a damn good song. In other words, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of crap out there.
Saints of Sin to the rescue for the hard rock crowd. With a knack for writing tracks that you just can’t help yourself bouncing, singing and smiling along to they’ve produced a wonderful thirteen-track effort with nary a wasted moment upon its shiny surface. To give you an idea of style, they pretty much fit into the genre that Steel Panther pastiche. “Wasted Nights” actually really reminds me more of the aging sexists than any of the bands they pay “homage” to. It’s an absolute belter and a highlight on a very strong album.
While the band definitely have their roots in 80s hair metal and hard rock, they aren’t stuck in a spandex-clad rut. There’s a ton of variety in their songs with the only common factor being “fun”. The hooks are jagged, the riffs are sweet, the shredding is manic, the drums are pounding and the vocals are right on the money. From the churning twin guitars of “Running” to the singalong chorus of “One More Minute” there simply isn’t a bad patch.
The pace slows a little for the track “Heroin” which tugs more at the heart- than the neck-strings, but SoS turn their hand to this more maudlin style with ease, still making it an absolute pleasure to listen to.
The album finishes on an absolute high with the double-barreled blast of “Going Down” (which could be a Steel Panther track… or AC/DC… or solo Bruce Dickinson) and “21 Shots” – two songs which couldn’t be any more different in style, but which are both… I want to use the word “belters” again. Sorry, but it just works.
This is a great album. For fans of Skid Row, Love/Hate, Crue, Warrant, Steel Panther, Cinderella… you get the sort of thing. Balls out, live life like it’s meant to be lived, raucous, loud, beautiful. Get a copy.
Welcome to the Circus came out on October 27th 2017