Sex and violins; think about those two things for a minute. Sex has got to be the single most desirable physical sensation known to mankind. At its best, it's an intense and intimate ride that ends with every nerve ending screaming in ecstasy. Violins; delicate instruments that need to be caressed gently at times, but also need to be violently stroked occasionally to drive them to dizzying heights. When you think about it, sex and violins are similar in many ways. Here is a band that embraces their name and translates their music to fit the two elements.
Vocalist/bassist Lynn Sorensen reeks of raw sexuality here. Whether he's pumping the neck of his fretless bass during "You've Got Me Addicted" or spewing forth his suave slurs during the verses of "Eva," Sorensen captures the essence of the band name in every breath he takes. It just so happens that Sorensen is the violin player in the band, too. So when he belts out "You run my bow down the small of your back, you're a night at the opera, you're a sheer heart attack" during the chorus of their namesake tune, "Sex & Violins," it's an effective foray into the attitude of the band's music. This chorus also sheds some light upon some of the influences at work here; with "night at the opera" and "sheer heart attack" referencing two classic Queen records.
This is a classic rock record, plain and simple. Sorensen sings with strength and passion, sounding like James "JY" Young of Styx or Ian Astbury of The Cult (especially on "Feelin' Alright"). He also delivers some wicked bass lines throughout the disc. But the buck doesn't stop at Sorensen and his animal magnetism. Drummer Jeff Kathan drives each of these songs with a tight snare snap and a bottom heavy bass drum. He provides a concrete foundation that has Sorensen's bass dancing all over it. And then there's the guitars&.Joe Shikany and Ian Crawford give us some heart stopping solo work on tunes like "Eva," "Str8 2 Hell," and "Feelin' Alright," but I think it's their patience that deserves to be noticed. They never attack the song and smother it, but rather let the song come to them. The subtle strings of "Outside Your Door" and "Beyond These City Lights" are played perfectly; and instead of jarring solos, Shikany and Crawford provide the song with more of an atmospheric elegance. These are guitar players that know when to play.
From the hard and heavy sound of songs like "Las Vegas Rocks" and "Str8 2 Hell," to the rap/rock of "Tears Fall Astray," to the sensitive innocence of "How to Love You;" this is just plain fun. It's nothing groundbreaking. They aren't trying to reinvent the wheel or anything. This band is a modern day Van Halen; a good time, party band that just kills instrumentally. I must say, that after hearing of Sorensen's accomplishments with the violin, I did yearn to hear more of his playing when the disc was over. But other than that, I think The Stones put it best when they said, "It's only rock and roll, but I like it."