In 1992, the California-based Christian rock outfit X-Sinner decided to call it quits after a short run of four years. Prior to leaving Pakaderm/A&M Records, the band members were in the process of recording rough demo songs that would have been featured on their third studio album. Longtime guitarist and founding member Greg Bishop made an effort to pull out all of the best pre-production demo tracks that X-Sinner recorded between 1988 and 1992 to be featured on their 2001 album Loud And Proud. Since its release, X-Sinner came back from the grave to re-record their second album re-titled Fire It Up, which received praises from several Christian/hard rock music fan sites. To get fans pumped for X-Sinner's next studio album of original material, the band decided to re-release Loud And Proud under Retroactive Records in 2007.
These are perhaps some of the best recorded demo tracks I have heard from any band, but an entire album of demos, fourteen to be exact, is just too much. "Eyes Of Fire" opens up the album with a strong sense of hope that this will be a solid rock effort, but it is really not. Original vocalist Dave Robbins' voice has a very scratchy, raw sound, but it becomes very irritating as the song progresses. This irritation continues on throughout the first five tracks, which all of these five songs were recorded during the days of X-Sinner's Get It album. The tracks "Turn It Up," "Got To Let It Go," and "X-sinner" all made their way to the Peace Treaty and Fire It Up releases, but these demos are just not up to par with the real thing.
Finally, we have four previously unreleased demo songs that have never seen the light of day until now. Just by itself, the instrumental version of "Last Call" sounds amazing and, once again, Greg Bishop is able to show off how much of an incredible guitar player he really is. "Reap What You Sow," "Shame," and "Last Call" all sound terrific, but purchasing a record just to hear four previously unreleased demo songs is ridiculous and the two bonus tracks can be heard on X-Sinner's The Angry Einsteins album released back in 2002. Loud And Proud could have ended really well with the final version of "Last Call." "Prophet And The Cowboy" and "Going Around In Circles" are great songs, but they just do not end the album on a high note.
I hate to be the one to bring down a rock band that I have come to love and enjoy, but I was not really impressed with Loud And Proud. The AC/DC music style will draw fans in, but I get the feeling that X-Sinner released this album with the intentions of making some easy money off of old material. Anyone who loves X-Sinner or hard rock in general will enjoy listening to this album, but it's best to listen to it first before purchasing. Anyone who is not a fan of X-Sinner. or if you already have the original version of Loud And Proud, does not need to waste time on this re-release.- Review date: 2/10/09, written by Fred Keel of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Retroactive
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