Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saints Of The Underground: A Super Group

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Saints of The Underground released their CD "Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner" in 2008 on Warrior Records. The band started when the four members got together to bang out cover songs in their spare time. The Saints are as follows: Ohio native John K. Oswald on vocals, Huntington Beach bum Kenneth Fear, Jr. on guitar, Pennsylvanian drummer Robert J. Blotzer and Hollywood's own Robert Crane on bass. Their debut release is a great mix of melodic, slightly bluesy originals with a couple covers thrown in for fun. Pick it up, put it on, close your eyes and enjoy. Until next........wait. What? Just kidding. Let's try again.

The first paragraph is true. But lets crunch some data on the band members and who we know them as. Former Vince Neil, RATT and current Lynch Mob bassist Robbie Crane, RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer, guitar player Keri Kelli, who has played for everyone under the sun including but not limited to Alice Cooper. And last but certainly not least on vocals, the late Jani Lane.

The term "supergroup" dates back to the 60's with the formation of Crosby, Still & Nash. Surprisingly, many bands we have known and loved through the years are actually "supergroups". By loose definition that would mean "a group whose performers are already famous from being in previous bands". Cream, Led Zeppelin and Journey are examples of  "supergroups" in the classic rock genre. Blue Murder and Badlands from the 80's metal era and recent hitmakers Velvet Revolver are "supergroups" as well. I'm rambling.

"Love The Sin, Hate The Sinner" to some may just have been a project but this band is by all accounts a supergroup. The four members have a combined 115 years experience in the business. Keri Kelli has upwards of 75 album credits for playing, producing, etc.. Bobby Blotzer and Robbie Crane seem to continue to be active in their current duties. And our beloved former Warrant frontman Jani Lane stands on his own postumously and is sorely missed. This CD, in my humble opinion, is simply a representation of four guys who are outstanding at what they do, come together and make music. Before I forget, Quiet Riot and House Of Lords bassist Chuck Wright added some playing to the CD and Andy Johns mixed it. If Andy Johns doesn't ice the cake, I don't know what does.

The tracks are a blend of original material, recycled side project songs, and covers. The last track "Jimmy" is an old unreleased ( I think) Warrant tune. The songs are mostly guitar driven with either melodic anthemic riff or a dark groove. The cover of "American Girl" by Tom Petty is solid but by-the-numbers. One of my favorites but less liked by critics is their cover of The Stones' "Moonlight Mile". I'm not even a Stones fan, but something about Jani's vocal draws me to the song everytime. It's impossible to sit and listen to this CD now without wondering what could've come afterward. All in all this a great release by a super group. Now...pick it up, put it on, turn it up and close your eyes.

We miss you Jani.



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