Under Appreciated


Last year I was just about to exit that great record store in AtlantaCriminal Records when I saw a short rack near the checkout stand; and I came upon a reissue of the first album by Les SinnersSinerisme.  (Actually it is probably a bootleg, though the album has been properly reissued on vinyl by an Italian label in 1989, and in Canada in both 2008 and 2010).  I like compilation albums as much as, if not more than the next guy; but being able to find an original album by a favorite band is a real treat. 


Among American garage-rock fans, this is the only album that is at all well known.  Checking my pre-Katrina database, I had apparently found a copy of Sinerisme at an earlier date, though I had completely forgotten that; it is way down the LP list – at #2532 – so I know that I never got deep enough in the stacks to actually play the album before the storm, and it has not yet shown up to be cleaned in the first half of my collection that I have gotten to thus far.   

Sinerisme – which is a kind of nonsense word that translates “Sinnerism” (but with only one “n”) – is evenly divided between songs in English and songs in French (with some songs having lyrics in both languages).  I had previously heard “Nice Try” on the Pebbles, Volume 13 LP, and this song proves that Les Sinners can snarl with the best of them; the other English songs are similarly raw garage rock recordings for the most part.  The album has out-of-the-ordinary vocals and musical passages, notably on the sort-of love song, “Cleopatra”. 


I later encountered one of the French-language songs from this album, “Sinnerisme” on the double-CD release, The Essential Pebbles Collection, Volume 1.  While still strong stuff, the French songs are more melodic and a little closer to pop music; the mixture of the two languages and several musical styles makes for a delightful album.  


Additionally, a 2010 compilation CDSinerisme came out on Merité Records that has the same name as Les Sinners’ first album, Sinerisme.  As if the trail of albums left behind by Les Sinners wasn’t already confusing enough! 


(April 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021