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Vexine - 'Little Sin' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/32/9f/da/vexine-little-sin-91-1500493979.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 19, 2017    
 
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With many songs on 'Little Sin' they seem to have developed their own sub-genre – "Evil Blues".

'Little Sin' is the sophomore, studio album from Vexine, a four-piece band from Richmond, Virginia. Their self-titled debut was released in 2013 with a live album the following year. However, this is my first introduction to the band and the sensational vocals of lead singer Sarah Gleason. What an incredible, captivating voice she possesses, effortlessly switching between seductive, angelic tones and what can best be described as pure evil. The latter is exemplified in the Hard Rockin' Blues of the album opener 'Caught Up In The Tears'. Envision, maybe, the Devil and Janis Joplin having a lovechild and you will get an idea of Gleason's vocal range. Her malevolence continues with 'Creep Into You' where Paul Pearce's guitar tone impeccably co-ordinates with Gleason's evil singing voice. Jorge Santamaria (drums) and Michael Skiffington (bass) complete the band and start the intro to the wicked 'Tell Me', where the Joplin likenesses can be clearly heard.

The haunting 'Tantilla Gardens' is sang with heartfelt emotion and tells the story of the Richmond dance hall landmark that once was the "South's Most Beautiful Ballroom" before it was demolished in 1970. The title track 'Little Sin' is sultry and alluring with dark, sinister undertones. 'After All' has Pearce taking lead vocal duties, whilst the menacing Rocker 'Empty Hole' (released as a single) precedes my personal favourite, the Bourbon-drenched 'Hornet's Nest'.

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The pace is then reduced for the next couple of tracks, starting with the moving ballad 'Catherine' which is comparative in conveyance to the performance tunes of Scarlett O'Connor (aka Clare Bowen) from the hit TV series 'Nashville'. The second is a splendid cover of Elvis Costello's 'I Want You' (from his 1986 album 'Blood & Chocolate') where the dark lyrics, describing a tormented, romantic relationship, are ideally suited to Gleason's baleful vocals. The album concludes with Pearce taking the lead vocals again for a Ramones style, two-minute, Punk Rock song called 'Only One Left' – a zombie love story!

The production, courtesy of Pearce, Brian Farquhar and Bruce Olsen, manages to capture a live sound without compromising the sonic dynamics and this further enhances the listening pleasure. It's becoming increasing difficult these days to pigeonhole bands into one genre and Vexine are no different. However, with many songs on 'Little Sin' they seem to have developed their own sub-genre – "Evil Blues".

Mark Donnelly

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