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Reviewed by Jasper West

Sin City: Another Round

Reviewed by Jasper West

Sin City: Another Round

With an ambient opening in a classic western bar, Tāmaki Makaurau duo of songwriters Nick Armstrong and Jack Beesley from Sin City set up their sophomore album ‘Another Round’ in the same way you’d expect to hear them live.

A boogie-woogie honky-tonk piano is the crux of first song, Gin And Tonic, a classic rock n’roll banger designed to get the crowd ready and on their feet. Enlightened by artists such as Glen Campbell and Marty Robbins, the album proceeds with good time tunes like Big City Streets and Don’t Ask Me Twice, in between more heartfelt numbers such as Loving Arms and She’s Got No Heart.

A follow-up to their 2022 first album, ‘Welcome to Sin City’, which the dup toured extensively in Europe and Australasia, ‘Another Round’ sounds like a second disc to the same double album. While creativity plays a major part in the writing, evident by the variation on pace and tone throughout the album, Armstrong and Beesley don’t stray too far from the beaten track sonically. The strange familiarity in something entirely new comforts the listener. Their dedication to authenticity of a particular set of genres and aesthetics leaves their audience safe in the knowledge that they’re in for the good time they signed up for.

This authenticity goes right through to the recording process. Recorded live as a band in one room onto analogue tape at Sound Studios in Djaara Country, Castlemaine, you can hear the musicians ebb and flow through various feelings and emotions. Some parts cut with warts and all, giving a personal touch to the recording’s crystal vintage sound.

While the whole album is a gold mine of western Americana, the biggest gem can be found right near the back. Mama, Please Let Me In is a throat throbbing sad song for all of those who miss their mama. Although the character in the song is a criminal on the run, we can hear his genuine human emotion, begging to be let in by the one person who should be there at his rock bottom, and heavily sympathise to the primal feeling of being left out in the cold.

Sin City bring the gold standard of old music in new songs with ‘Another Round’. Don’t expect any intellectual statement on the progression of country music, but revel in the excitement that good bar-room rock n’roll is still being made today.