Sir No Sir - Scavenger
Straight out of the gate, on the song “Manic”, drummer Tony Leskinen says “Let’s go!”, and it’s obvious that the Sir No Sir locomotive is in motion, and you either better get the hell off the tracks or get crushed under it’s heaviness. This is the ‘Scavenger’ express, devouring anything in it’s path, and leaving nothing but gleaming bones in it’s ravenous wake.
Of course, I’m referring to the brand new Crustacean Records release, and second CD by Madison power-trio Sir No Sir. Contained within are ten brutal yet melodic compositions that showcase the diversity of this formidable group. The melody is often evident by the numerous intricate bass guitar breaks courtesy of Jeramaya James, who is the driving force behind composing the music on much of this disc. I have to admit to being emphatically drawn to those bass parts, and the superb audio quality of these recordings really bring out the best of all worlds in regard to this wild listening safari. One is first pulled in to the overall aural experience, and then the subtleties such as James’ pulsating bass lines come to the surface.
I was/am a fan of the first Sir No Sir CD, but clearly this band has matured in the two years since that product’s emergence. The lyrics have taken on more cerebral topics, such as the Carl Sagan inspired “Pale Blue Dot”, and the songs show an increased sophistication in their structure and slammy-yet-catchy sensibility. Since both Leskinen and guitarist Nate Onsrud provide vocals, there are subtle but marked variations to the identity of the songs. Though, both men deliver their voice within the context of a guttural growl wrenched from deep in the depths of their bowels and souls.
I have a particular fondness for the cover photo of ‘Scavenger’, depicting the bared, encrusted fangs, and gruesome prickly tongue, of a pink and orange colored hyena! It’s the perfect depiction of the music contained within, which, did I mention, is frickin’ heavy? Like a blended mixture of hardcore punk, power rock, prog metal, and Norwegian polka. Wait! Just kidding about the polka!
My favorite tracks from ‘Scavenger’ include the title track, “Manic”, “Walking Backwards”, and “Switch Quick”. But what I’d really recommend is trying on this CD yourself. Run it up the flagpole and see if you salute it, like I do. And what better way than to check out the SNS ‘Scavenger’ CD Release Party at the Crystal Corner Bar in Madison, on Saturday, October 17? You can hear these tracks performed live with wild unabashed abandon, and take a copy of the ‘Scavenger’ home with you. But wait… there’s more! Also on this killer bill are the first ladies of Madison rock ‘n roll, Venus In Furs, who also have new product to support, their excellent and recently released 12” long-play ‘Just Try It On’, and the evening’s festivities will be capped off by local favorites Droids Attack, who always tow a serious rock and roll party along with them, and I can pretty much guarantee will be featuring new material in their set, since Droids are working on a new CD of their own. In the meantime though, you could complete the trifecta and also grab something from the Droids merch table’s offerings… the possibilities are endless! It’s a good time to be a rock fan in Madison, Wisconsin.