We review the new EP from Sinner Sinners – Hanging On
Los Angeles-based punk rockers Sinner Sinners present their new EP ‘Hanging On’ – a three-track record of covers featuring some classic tunes from The Cure, The Supremes and Eddie Floyd.
Founded in 2009 by husband-wife duo Sam and Steve Thill, the French-American outfit have toured with bands such as Eagles of Death Metal, Refused, The Sonics and Black Flag – and are due to release their fourth album next year.
It was during the recording process for this next record that they had the chance to play around with some soul songs they’ve always loved. And with the opportunity of working with the multi-award winning trumpetist Dan Rosenboom and saxophonist Gavin Templeton – this experimentation resulted in some respectfully faithful yet undeniably Sinner-stamped renditions.
First up, a thundering version of Eddie Floyd’s 1967 single ‘Big Bird’. The R&B/soul track retains a certain familiarity with a bright horn section and ever-building pace. Feeling much more guitar-driven than the original – vocals from Steve Thill take on a gravely grunge vibe in comparison to Floyd’s soulful tones.
Staying in the 60s, track two takes a hit from The Supremes and gives it a punk-rock flavour. Chart-topping single ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ is known for its psychedelic soul pop sound and the inimitable soaring vocals of Diana Ross. Here Sinner Sinners bring a frenetic energy to this cover, with a heavy drumbeat and Sam Thill’s stacked vocals delivered in a shouty-punk-rock vein. This cover takes the desperation of the original and turns it into a bold, sassy confrontation of a selfish lover.
Final track, ‘Jumping Someone Else’s Train’ remakes the 1979 single from English band The Cure. Maintaining punchy delivered vocals like Robert Smith in the original, there’s a heavier, fuller, punk sound to this cover (reminiscent in places to The Jam). An urgency and quicker pace like that of a runaway train.
‘Hanging On’ is a fun collection of covers by a band whose love for these classic tracks is clear. There’s a loyalty to the originals, a familiarity about them which feels very much like a homage than a complete do-over. Taking some of their favourite tracks, Sinner Sinners revamp them with a punk rock’n’roll twist. It’s obvious they had a ball making this.