Unless you’ve been asleep since the 1970’s then you’ll hopefully already be aware of the guitar genius that goes by the name of ZAL CLEMINSON – but on the off chance that you aren’t, then in a nutshell :
Widely respected for his work with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band ; Cleminson provided his incendiary guitar and writing throughout the bands original incarnation, including the seminal albums “Next”, “Framed” and “The Impossible Dream”.
After Alex’s passing, he went on to play guitar in Nazareth for several years in the late 70s and early 80s, and also worked as a session musician touring with Elkie Brooks, Bonnie Tyler, and Midge Ure.
Following SAHB’s reassembling for ‘live’ work during the early Noughties, including playing on bills with Def Leppard and Cheap Trick, Zal then chose to retire from music.
That was, until 2017, when fired anew with the excitement of new songs, Zal set about a fresh assault in music ...
Cue SIN’DOGS, and their debut album – VOLUME 1
I’d heard on the grape vine over the years, that Zal Clemison is somewhat of a wild card, and might be considered a bad influence, but having been labelled as such myself, I tend not to believe such tosh – however ... rumours might be correct about Zal.
Indirectly, under his influence, I’m £100 lighter, and have to attend a speeding awareness course.
I decided to take the album out in the car with me ; hit play as I pulled onto the M6 and within seconds found myself driving angry at 90 mph – 4 tracks in, I was pulled over by a cop, and unbelievably the fact that I was head banging to Sin Dogs, just didn’t cut it as a valid excuse.
To be honest the copper looked like a bit of a BoyZone fan, otherwise I might have winged it.
I actually grew out of “HEAVY” rock / metal / grunge music some years ago, after descending to the depths of hell in my early teens – I was rescued by the Angel of prog as I got older, but this SIN’DOGS record instantly cast me straight back to my youth.
It is deliciously dark and dirty sounding ; vocally raw, with chugging bass and rhythm guitar ... AND ... lead guitar work, courtesy of Zal ... which is just sublime.
I’m a sucker for lead guitar, and much of what I’ve heard in recent years is mediocre at best, but this album is full of riffs and melodies which prove precisely why SAHB became a staple favourite of rockers around the globe, and why Zal is cited by so many musicians as an inspiration.
For what my opinion is worth, I think it’s classic stuff, and marks an impressive return for the legendary rocker.
Zal says “It’s the best music I’ve ever played”, and personally I’m inclined to agree.
It’s a head banging, air guitarists dream – let your hair down, and cut loose – if you’ve gone bald, it’ll inspire you to buy a wig, just so that you can flick your locks about like you could in the old days.
I suffer badly from tinnitus, after 25 years of exposure to working around loud music, but Sin’Dogs Volume One is worth the increase in the ringing, because you simply cannot listen to this at a volume less than MAXIMUM.
There’s a taster here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du07hneaHOY
Just keep an eye on your speedo, and watch out for flashing lights, if you take it on a road trip.
For more about the band, tour dates, and to get your hands on a copy, please follow Zal on facebook, or head over to the website ...
Zal Cleminson : Lead Vocals / Guitar
David Cowan: Keyboards/Vocals
William McGonagle: Guitar / Vocals
Nelson McFarlane: Bass
Scott Cowie: Drums