/SIN’DOGS/ – Renascence

Sin’Dogs 2023


Glaswegian glam-industrialists fight gravity to find fresh fantasies and take of for another flight.

Here’s the moment of truth for this Scottish ensemble who ran the risk of losing their momentum after their loose-cannon leader Zal Cleminson jumped ship while working on the material for a sophomore full-length effort, and they were to spend the pandemic period reinventing everything to prove that the group’s success can’t be tied to the guitarist’s legend and yet retaining their sound-stamp, which should make the title of the band’s second EP both true and false. However, there’s no such duality in the force of the four songs the little platter is comprised of, the sharpness of the performers’ riffs softened by infectious melodies their hard-rock figures are shrouded in, so the listener can disregard the funereal gloom of the record’s cover to dive into “Renascence” and have fun the five musicians serve in spades.

Now, with all the members of the Zal-less collective being on equal footing there’s no need for any clownery, although cutting to the chase – despite the sharp, pulsing riffs of “Day Of Reckoning” or sublime, almost orchestral balladry of “Dark Side Of Your Soul” – would go against the grain of the group’s modus operandi that involves catchy refrains offsetting a finely textured heaviosity. Instead, they build on the serrated edge offered by the band’s 2018 eponymous debut and punch surprise raptures into each of the tracks on display, as Cleminson’s replacements, axeman Andy McLaughlan and warbler Peter Scallan, lay arresting lines and slight twists over the solid foundation provided by Nelson McFarlane’s bass and Todd MacLeod’s drums and pull their audience in for a short series of groovy adventures which David Cowan’s ivories augment via cosmic vignettes and solid background.

And if the fiercely histrionic “The Strange Door” is dusted with industrial dust, the piece’s emotional splashes lead its lyrical chorus, a piano ripple and a six-string surge to the crest of a wave, pushing the ensemble’s still-shaping sonic identity to the fore, where the throbbing “Knock ’em Dead” will sculpt a dance in one’s skull to make “Renascence” as memorable a precursor to the Scots’ second album as classic rock cognoscenti may desire. The EP is that alluring, proving this collective don’t need the presence of a famous player to deliver the goods.


August 7, 2023

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