The Original Sins "The Hardest Way" 1989

Kicking off with the selfconscious "Heard It All Before," The Hardest Way ("All distortion purely intentional") demonstrates the Sins' marvelous ability to synthesize an original sound — less stylized than the Lyres' — from now-standard ingredients. Rather than quote punk scripture in an attempt to turn back the calendar, the album seems like the logical result of an anachronistic environment. J.T.'s storming guitar roar and McKinney's chunky organ-izing provide a tersely exciting bed for lyrics that — other than a few happy love songs — resound with alienation ("Don't Fit In," "Out of My Mind"), dejection ("Rather Be Sad," "Can't Get Over You") and negativity ("I Can't Say," "End of the World"). - trouserpressThe Original Sins' debut album, Big Soul, was a full-on sonic flamethrower and emotional powerhouse, the sort of double hit few bands can manage their first time at bat, and you just had to wonder how they were going to top it. Well, the answer is, they didn't -- or at least not on their sophomore outing, The Hardest Way. The '60s garage and '80s punk influences that made Big Soul so memorable are back again on The Hardest Way, and both singer/guitarist J.T. and organ player Dan McKinney are in solid form, but much of the material doesn't rock quite as hard as the blazing first side of Big Soul, and even the tunes that do connect at full force -- "Out of My Mind," "You Can't Touch Me," and the title cut -- lack the passion and heart that really made the difference on the first album. In short, The Hardest Way finds the Original Sins suffering from the typical second-album dilemma: not enough top-shelf material. While this problem would remedy itself on Self Destruct, that unfortunately doesn't make The Hardest Way any better. - by Mark Deming

The Original Sins:
Dan McKinney - Organ / Dave Ferrara - Drums, Vocals (Background) / Ken Bussiere - Bass, Vocals (Background) / John J.T. Terlesky - Guitar, Vocals, Producer

01 Heard It all before 02 Now_s the Time 03 Tearing Me in two 04 Why You love Me so 05 Can_t get over You 06 Hardest Way 07 Out of my Mind 08 You can_t touch Me 09 Don_t fit in 10 Rather be sad 11 I can_t say 12 She understands 13 Ain't no tellin? 14 End of the World 17 Beast In Me 18 Lacerations

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