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ALL SINNERS All Sinners (EP)

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 @ 1:12 PM

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All Sinners
Purchase Street Records - 2022

While I am a big music fan of music in general, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that my fandom is usually confined to the big name bands that everybody knows after decades of loving the same kind of music. I wouldn't even begin to suggest that I'm a knowledgeable sort when it comes to the local music scene in my area.

Sure, I've seen a lot of cover bands opening for bigger name bands but as far as original acts, I've seen just a few and those are mostly spread far apart. Besides bands like FLIGHT OF FIRE and ON YOUR DEATHBED, I think the last time I really knew of an original local band would be a band called XCALIBUR. And that would've been back while I was still in high school!

So it is fair to assume that I'd be a little wary of checking out a "new" local band. And that what makes the case of ALL SINNERS such a huge positive for me. The Massachusetts band's self-titled 5-song EP came out at the end of 2022 and I've seen plenty of positive buzz about it from both big names in the music industry AND from the every day fans that have checked it out as well.

What makes this an EP that I not only like but have been giving regular spins is that I got to hear some of the material as it was being fine tuned. I liked these early versions of the tracks and once the band got around to their finished product, ALL SINNERS clearly had something special on their hands. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a friend of ALL SINNERS drummer Roger Chouinard)

Written mainly by singer Mike Golarz and guitarist Nick Testone, the four original tracks (plus a radio edit version of the song "The Hunted", this is just some damn fine hard rock and roll!

The EP opens with the album version of "The Hunted" and it immediately grabs you and doesn't let go. I liked the stomp feel created by the drum work from Roger Chouinard on this one. The song is pretty uptempo in terms of pacing and I definitely love the way Mike Golarz sounds on this song. The lyrics are great and being that I'm a lyrics kind of guy, there are a number of individual lyrical lines that stood out to me as I listened to "The Hunted". I dug the line "I bring the thunder and the rain" as one individual line. It may not seem like anything great on its own but the way it was delivered is what really sold it to me. And the two line "I've been running in circles and this chase is getting old" was a killer couplet.

The EP's second track called "Buried Alive" has a brief but cool sounding guitar intro before the band comes in on the track in full. The song moves in a more measured and deliberate manner during the main lyrical passages but as it hits the chorus, the tempo increases and you get a song that is crackling with an explosive energy.

My original notes on the song "Believer" simply said "Great Sound". And while that is a simple enough summation for the song, I find that I need to expand on that a bit. As the song kicks off, the band comes in with a heavy pounding rhythmic feel with both Chouinard and bassist Bruce Morrison giving the track a killer bottom end from start to finish. I think this particular song is the one that would be what I would expect to hear as a single if this was back in the day. There's a great hook with the chorus and the vocals sell the track quite nicely. I rather enjoyed the song's solo as well. Just a flat out raise your fist and yell kind of anthem!

The track "Rise Up" has that big rocker feel to it and at least to my ears came off as sounding a bit heavier than the other three songs. But what gave the song a little extra bit of dimension for me was that the band still had a nice sense of melody threading its way throughout the song at the same time. The combining of a heavier rock sound yet still maintaining that sense of melody gave the song just that much more depth. I can understand why 94 WHJY, the local regional rock station, chose "Rise Up" to play on their weekly rock/metal show The Metal Zone.

Typically, a debut EP is supposed to just give you an inkling of how good a band is (or could be, to be a little more accurate) before they refine and define their sound for any kind of full-length release down the line. But for ALL SINNERS, their debut EP shows a band that already has a clearly defined sound and direction. The music is remarkably self-assured and the individual performances from all involved make for quite the memorable listening experience. I said it once before above, but it bears repeating, thiis is high quality rock and roll, bar none!

5.0 Out Of 5.0

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