Canadian threesome THINLINE SID was formed back in 2011, with the creative core of the band being Doug Atkinson (guitars) and Craig Baker (bass), supplemented by the talents of vocalist Donovan Weihmann. The band doesn’t have a permanent drummer, but appears to have employed session drummer Chad Melchert for all their studio work so far. “Suburban Hood” is their band’s third album, and was self released in the late fall season of 2017.

What we are dealing with in this case is a band that pretty much takes on the classic power trio sound, and occasionally gives it a 21st century update. Tight hard rock in other words, at times bordering metal in intensity, but were you can easily hear that the roots in blues and blues rock are never all that far away.

As most bands of this kind tends to do, they explore a somewhat more varied sound than the classic bands of yesteryear. We get a couple of songs that by accident or design incorporate elements that will be familiar sounding to those who know their grunge and classic Black Sabbath, while on a couple of occasions spoken vocals with rhythmic intent adds a slight alternative rock/nu-metal flavor to the proceedings. Guitarist Atkinson also kicks in with some delicate psychedelic tinged guitar solo flavoring at one point, complete with swirling effects that probably isn’t all that far removed from what post rock fans might recognize. As a one off, funky guitar licks and funky bass-lines flavor the title track Suburbahood, with a spoken word style chorus, but on this occasion done in a manner that in this total context reminds me more of what a band like Living Colour might have created back in the day.

But the backbone of this album is solid and steady hard rock, power trio style. The guitar sound is rich and beefy, flavored with gnarly resonances and darker tones when needed, while the rhythm section is tight and steady with compelling, pounding bass-lines supplementing nicely when needed for extra momentum. The lead vocals are fine and controlled too, albeit perhaps a tad too understated at times. Full score on technical delivery, but at times lacking the power and intensity that gives me associations to strong emotions.

Thinline Sid isn’t a band that will instigate any revolutions or revelations, but if you have a taste for rock solid, tight hard rock with a solid guitarist fond of a rich and beefy guitar sound backed by a good singer and a tight rhythm section, “Suburbahood” will be a nice addition to your music library. Nothing new under this particular sun, but a tight, competent band aware of their strengths and exploring them quite nicely indeed.

My rating: 70/100


Track list:
In a Silent Eden // Reflection of You // 17 Degrees // War Against the Words // I Don’t Want to Love You // Lonely Road – It Doesn’t Matter at All // Suburbahood // Video Dreams // Hey Downtown // SoundBlind



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