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Sin Dealer | Dying to Live | review | rock | Lollipop

Sin Dealer

Dying to Live
by Hansel Merchor

Death metal growlers are said to have adopted the Cookie Monster approach, but no one approximates Sesame Street levels like Sin Dealer's Eric Kuthe.  That's not an insult by any means.  Kuthe pronounces clearly and prudently, his voice is gnarly, gruff, and powerful, and yet, there's something utterly cartoon-esque about it. Kuthe's delivery isn't all that melodic, even in the uplifting power ballad, "Dying to Live," he seems to have difficulty expressing the mushy message, and in the rocking "Magic Woman," Sin Dealer's rolling melodies are diluted by Kuthe's deadpan. As a result, Dying to Live is an OK record; it has its good moments, and most come in the first half. The first four tracks showcase what these Canucks do best; "Lying to Myself" is a two-prone guitar attack that builds cool riffage out of entry-level scales, and in "Got Into You," warm guitar notes make stoner rock with attitude. The key here is that Kuthe is not being asked to stretch his range, he matches the cool of the music in sheer bravado.  Therefore, it works. The singer flexes syllables to the best of his abilities, but that doesn't mean that he can sing like Don Dokken or even Neil Fallon.  Sin Dealer needs to balance out its pros and its cons. In other words, know thyself. Write with Kuthe's voice in mind and perhaps even make up your mind, are you a rock and roll band or a stoner rock band? Then, Sin Dealer could take off.


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