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Askew Review 15

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THE WAGES OF SIN- Gringo Mariachi (Site) Since starting this crappy lil’ zine you’re reading well over ten years ago, I’d wager maybe one CD a year submitted to Askew Reviews was near life altering for me; Gringo Mariachi by Seattle’s The Wages of Sin is one of those CDs. The music is an insane fusion of Celtic, bluegrass, and even a little country (think not Garth Brooks, but Violent Femmes circa Hallowed Ground-though, that may be more folk like, but you get the picture) with punk and rock-a-billy. And while the music can stir the dead, the lyrics are so damn working class, they make the Dropkick Murphys’ words seem almost pencil pusheresque (and no, I am not slamming my beloved DKM). Picket line riots, coal mine deaths, and bible/gun toting are just the tip of the rainbow. Ya, then there’s the booze aspect, most notably in “The Drunkard’s Prayer” (a song I would open my set with if I were in a cover band). “Skull Creek Logger” opens with the tale of debt ridden loggers taking on one hell of a job to clear their bills, which is driven home by Jesse Stewart’s rough and tumble vocals. Stuck in the middle of the twelve dirty face workers’ tales is a nice cover of The Clash’s “White Riot.” Good golly Miss Molly, reading the lyrics is akin to reading a damn book! Oh, for whatever reason, I have a feeling fiddleman T. Royal Morgan is a mental case. Missing out on Gringo Mariachi would be a sin of musical proportions. – Denis Sheehan

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