Sinnerstar - Craving Aches and Bitter Lemon Hearts (Sinnersville SVRCD001)

Track Listing: Love Tonight / Chemicals Dominate / Heal My Brain / My Life / Sweet Oblivion / Slow Down / Porn Affliction / Velvet Eyes / Pearl In Paraise / End Of The Line

What a terrific surprise! Ten slices of sleazy, swaggering, rock'n'roll. Sinnerstar main man Koozie Johns is very much the archetypal rocker who lives the rock'n'roll lifestyle to the full.

His philosophy on life and rock'n'roll is laid on the line in the opening two tracks; the catchy Love Tonight acting as a full-on blueprint, while the chilling Chemicals Dominate ('and so do you') rocks with a self-assured swagger few of today's established artists could match.

The material is soaked in tales that display his love, anguish, and addiction to his music. Heal My Brain and My Life illustrate this to the full, via displays of energy and reflection. Elsewhere, the album lurches from the melancholy power of Sweet Oblivion to the adrenalin pop-rock of Pearl In Paradise.

The layered guitar sound is cleanly produced, allowing licks on tracks like Slow Down to roll out of the speakers before flattening you in their path. Porn Affliction is another rocker, 'you've got it, I want it', leaving nothing to the imagination.

Perhaps the highlight of the album is the truly magnificent Velvet Eyes. It's a heart-tugging love story with an unforgettable hook, a touch Bowie-esque, with lashings of spine-tingling guitar.

Koozie handles the vocals effortlessly, with a style not too dissimilar from classic Iggy Pop. Like I said, we're talking sleazy, swaggering, rock'n'roll.

So why is this album being reviewed on Kick Down The Doors? Well, Koozie Johns was in Wild Crash 500 with ex-Professional Ray McVeigh, and that's good enough for me. Plus it's one of the best albums I've heard so far this year. Don't just take my word for it, check out further reviews and details of this mini masterpiece at

Review by Phil Singleton (Phil Jens)
April 2002

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