Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Review: Ravens Moreland - Sin Has a Soundtrack! (2008)

Ravens Moreland [ Website | MySpace ]
Sin Has a Soundtrack!

Ravens Moreland is a gritty Post Punk band from Long Beach, CA, spawned by Bruce "Raven" Moreland. Bruce is a veteran of the punk movement, having co-founded the '80s one-hit-wonder Wall of Voodoo as well as having served time in the synthpunk outfit Nervous Gender. For his latest, eponymous foray into the anti-establishment sub-culture, Moreland recruited other underground veterans such as guitarist L. Ron Jeremy (a member of the horror/goth punk band Frankenstein and the revitalized 45 Grave) and drummer Jarrod Alexander (a founding member of hardcore punks Death By Stereo and a current member of The Suicide File) while he handles the vocals, bass, and keyboards himself. The sadomasochistic-themed Lock Up Your Mothers was the band's first release, followed now by the six-track EP Sin Has A Soundtrack!.

Moreland's sophomore release is not the in-your-face, "Fuck Off!" tirade many people associate with the punk genre. Instead, Sin Has A Soundtrack! is a gloomy, grimy journey through the seedy underworld of West Coast alleys and dives. "Apathy" stands out as the most anarchistic track due to the lyrical content and Moreland's disgust-filled delivery, but still incorporates the riff-driven crunchiness and heavy bass groove that permeates the entire album. Those simple riffs and melodies, along with some well-placed keys and Moreland's disheveled vocals, are what make Sin Has A Soundtrack! such an accessible album. Imagine mixing the sleazy rock of early Mötley Crüe with the smothering weight of Danzig and you'll have a pretty good idea what Ravens Moreland is all about. Songs like "Gone Home To Hell" and "Cat On Fire" draw their energy from the L.A. rock scene of the mid-'80s, though they discard the flash and excess of that era for raw emotion and swagger. "Franky" is my favorite track of the EP, with an intensely groovy bass riff and mournful keys that all work together to compliment the lyrical content. Moreland's voice is rough but genuine and, except for a couple of ill-advised falsetto moments, is a perfect fit for the band's sound.

Sin Has A Soundtrack! is a solid example of apocalyptic Post Punk, but not the glossy suburban styled muck passed off as punk by bands such as Green Day and Blink 182. If that's what you're looking for, Ravens Moreland will kick your ass and leave you weeping in the gutter.

Track Listing
1Gone Home To Hell4:32
4Cat On Fire4:08
51 694:00
Total Runtime27:12

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