Check out the cover artwork for New Zealand duo Sin City’s debut album and you might be expecting a laidback Gram Parsons-styled cosmic country album, and there are elements of that, but at it’s core this is a rousing, loose-limbed blend of rock ’n’ roll, soul and country. From bar room brawls to late night laments.
Produced by Delaney Davidson, a successful musician in his own right, the album is a showcase for Nick Armstrong & Jack Beesley’s songwriting, singing and playing. There’s a synchronistic quality to the way they holler and harmonise and though much of the subject matter of their songs is familiar terrain (love won and lost), the way they blend classic country tropes (‘Hanging From The Branches Above’) and an edgier Cramps-styled garage rock sound (‘Belly Of The Beast’) is what makes this such a thrilling listen.
The charming, loping ‘Things I Left Behind’, detailing items lost around the world, and the sweet and soulful ‘Hold On Little Girl’ are mid-album peaks and they bring the album to a resounding crescendo with the exceptional piano stomp of ‘Bandit Of Love’ and the keening ache and big power pop vocals of closer ‘By The River’. A real gem of a debut album.