Album Reviews

SIN TONIC – Bottoms Up! EP

  • Release date: 2012-12-29
  • Label: Unsigned
  • Review by: Ishaan Kumar

The original beacons of old-school heavy metal may yet remain lit thanks to a small handful of bands across the world still following the style of metal’s founding fathers. One such band comes from the unlikely nation of Thailand, in the form of the quartet Sin Tonic. Their debut EP ‘Bottoms Up!’ was released at the end of last year, thus introducing yet another set of ‘defenders of the faith’.

The most wonderful thing about this EP is how precise it is in bringing the key elements of traditional heavy metal to the table. Just 4-songs long, each track is played in an uncannily different style of the genre, while at the same time throwing in a sprinkling of the band’s own flavour. Opening track ‘The Rock n’ Roll Show’ kicks off the EP with the signature mid-tempo, two-tone, intro riff phrasing that bands of yore like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest have had for so many years. The track speaks (not surprisingly) about chucking your boring, mechanical life and letting fly at ‘the rock n’ roll show’. Succeeding track ‘Monster’ is a tribute to the hot women of the world who send daggers into hearts with their unattainable demeanour. The main hook of the song is quite a cheeky one on its own and really complements the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The band then move into higher gear with ‘Delivered as Declared’, a tune that has heavy palm-muted grooves reminiscent of more modern songs like ‘Montségur’ by Iron Maiden. The theme is another familiar one of a man who is wasting life on substance abuse. The solo on this song is especially exciting with a marked East-Asian ring to it. The EP then closes with the song ‘Skin Over Metal’, a typical ‘one-for-the-road’ song. The D-beat is a constant through the song, making for a really great ride through the riffs.

Indian-Thai frontman Gurdev Singh (a.k.a Guru) on guitars/vocals, leads the charge well throughout the album, falling short maybe slightly on the vocal department. His voice sometimes does take a slight detour from the tune, but definitely forgivably-so on the first EP. His guitar rhythms provide the perfect support to lead guitarist Pochathakorn Boonwrakool (or Poht). His style is quite a fresh approach to the screaming, speedy, arpeggiated style of solo-ing, bringing in latent bursts of aforementioned East-Asian musical styles. Drummer Panupong Moungmanee, or Joker, carries a groovy beat throughout each song with perfection. The star of the line-up though is bass player Phichayada Rochanapithyakorn (Jypsy, for short) with her impeccably-fingerpicked grooves that are a great mix of shreds and breakdowns. Never overdoing the basslines, she managed to provide the perfect bridge between the beat and the tune.

This band from Bangkok can definitely feel proud of a successful first glimpse of their style. If you wish to hear a fresh take on an ancient art form, order this CD now! Listen to them here on Facebook.