The Original Sinners
is former X vocalist Exene Cervenka's latest project. This time, she's backed by some young LA punks from the Distillers and the Sluts for Hire, but it's the other name listed that should catch the eyes of local music fans: Jason Edge. Edge (a.k.a. Jovian Kind) is a veteran of St. Louis punkabilly institution Drunkabilly, as well as our city's finest instrumental surf band, the Honkeys. For the Original Sinners' self-titled album, Edge traded in his drumsticks for a guitar. His slide licks provide a roadhouse-blues swagger to the music, which recalls X's country-punk fusion more than anything Cervenka's done since. Edge also co-wrote "Whiskey for Supper," on which he fills the close-harmony role left vacant by Cervenka's ex-bandmate/ex-husband, John Doe.
Cervenka, who's as strong a belter as ever, is still writing songs about love gone wrong without a trace of self-pity. She's either tearing up her wedding dress on "One Too Many Lies" because her husband told her she "should learn her place" or getting so distracted by mockingbirds, flowers and blue skies on "Woke Up This Mornin'" that she almost forgets to tell her man she's leaving him. The album careers from "Birds & Bees," a punk blast reminiscent of Wild Gift, to rollicking country and even the big beat of surf (more of Edge's influence?), all delivered by thick, crunchy guitars and snapping drums. Throughout the disc, this band exudes a confidence that ensures you'll leave their live show smiling, no matter how screwed up your love life may be.