Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners - Se7en (Cover Artwork)

Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners

Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners: Se7enSe7en (2006)
Nitro Records

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's hard to sell me on a band with a female singer. It's not at all a sexist thing, but I'm really put off by a lot of female singers, especially when it comes to punk bands, so it takes something special to really get me to enjoy a band like Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners, the latter-day .

It's hard to sell me on a band with a female singer. It's not at all a sexist thing, but I'm really put off by a lot of female singers, especially when it comes to punk bands, so it takes something special to really get me to enjoy a band like Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners, the latter-day outfit of X frontwoman Exene Cervenka.

Taking cues from such fellow female punk legends as Chrissie Hynde and Patti Smith, Cervenka tries to replicate more their swagger and gusto that both of those women possessed so strongly, rather than her own, which she was (and still is) heralded for in her days in X. The other, and more intangible element that both those women possessed, was a certain gravitas, that made people listen, and made people hang off every word so spitefully delivered.

To be frank, Cervenka doesn't have that on Se7en. Quite the unfortunate opposite. What replaces that gravitas and swagger that Hynde and Smith had is a level of boredom -- the boredom induced from almost every song on this album. It just doesn't have it. The songs come across sort of bland and uneventful, but at no real fault of the musicians accompanying Cervenka that make up the Original Sinners. The sound they play is just as deeply rooted in `70s punk as the rock ??n' roll of 20 years earlier, but Cervenka's vocals over top kill the steam built up from the buzzsaw guitars and bouncy rhythms in songs like "Born Yesterday" and "Tavern Love."

The songs themselves are pretty varied as well, the aforementioned "Tavern Love" having that familiar country twang to the guitars, but as is the case with so many of the songs, the vocals sound both lazy and detached, hurting any momentum built up before they came into the picture. There's simply no getting around that unfortunate fact, and for that, the record, no matter the efforts of the guitarist, bassist, and drummer, never comes around.

Though their genres of music reside at the opposite end of the spectrum, I feel a Jay-Z quote, albeit slightly altered, sums this up quite nicely;

"No passion, I got no patience, I hate waitin'."


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 15, 2006)

haven't changed much in 2 years huh anchors? from the undying review.

Posted by Anchors on 2004-08-26 14:39:30
My Score:

The fact that a singer is a girl makes them suck more.

Score is for female singers.

Fuzzy (September 14, 2006)

Oh i see what you did there.

Scruffy (September 14, 2006)

Stop being such a girl.

Fuzzy (September 11, 2006)

Countering sexism by telling someone to "grow some balls" is hugely amusing.

Archangel (September 11, 2006)

Score is for Kevin Spacey.

rinjonjori (September 11, 2006)

THis was pretty week when compared to the Original Sinners debut album. 3/5 of the band is new and come from a Rockabilly band. Their sound is much lighter. There is a couple of good songs but...

Anonymous (September 11, 2006)

Lets face it, the reviewer dude likes to look at bros on stage, not vag. whatever, it's cool bud..

Anonymous (September 10, 2006)

Anchors. What the fuck?


Anonymous (September 10, 2006)

While this cd is far from spectacular, basically calling Exene a Hynde/Smith wannabe is incredibly ignorant. Exene's vocal and lyrical styles are significantly different than the aforementioned singers, and too be honest, I think her vocals combined with John Doe have much more depth than Hynde ever had.

There are a crazy number of great punk and indie bands with female vocalists...if you dismiss them just because "they have a chick singer," you're seriously missing out.

Anonymous (September 10, 2006)

Scruffy and joeg have pretty much hit the nail right on the head in regards to the sexism found in this revew (whether intentional or not), and in the subsequent comments. It's pretty disappointing to read what most people are saying here.

Scruffy (September 10, 2006)

Hahaha! I'm not a huge fan of X, so I don't know from her very much, except that her guest vocals on The Old 97s' "Four Leaf Clover" are wicked rad.

Mute98 (September 10, 2006)

can we all agree that exene sucks ass?

Scruffy (September 10, 2006)

The difference is:
It's not sexist to say you dislike most female singers. That can be true, and not an opinion. It is sexist to be automatically skeptical of a band when you hear that the singer's a girl.
I've said that I don't think what Anchors meant was sexist, just worded so that it could come off that way. What prompted my original post was mostly FuckYouOiOiOi's statement, which is undeniably sexist.

danielsan (September 10, 2006)

he basically said he doesn't personally care for female singers. That isn't sexist, that's a preference. If he had said "female singers don't belong in punk bands" or "chicks can't sing" or something, that would be sexist.

Personally, I love it when bands have a good male/female dynamic, a la Fifth Hour Hero or One Reason

Kursk (September 10, 2006)

I like X to a pretty good degree and I like female singers in general especially Aimee Echo of The START, Ashley of Red Knife Lottery, Maura Davis of Denali/Bella Lea/Ambulette, and Laura Nichols of Light This City (even though Light This City are a thrash metal band, she is still the vocalist and d amn fine one at that) but I can't get into this. I heard a couple of songs before the album came out and said to myself "ok, meh"

Scruffy (September 10, 2006)

Wow, way to post anonymously and not counter ANY of my arguments. Why not get some balls, register a name and try to use logic instead of insults next time.
And I wasn't using gay people as anything more than an example of a smaller minority group that is more largely represented in anyone's CD collections. The word "gay" is not a swear word or a holy word. I was merely referring to statistics. I don't see how what I said could be interpreted as homophobic, and if that's not what you meant, I have no idea why you're complaining.

Anonymous (September 9, 2006)

scruffy is a peice of shit.

and the casualities suck. I can dig women singing when it's good stuff, this is not good stuff. Pretty awesome to drop gays into this conversation too.

Anonymous (September 9, 2006)

X sucked. hard.

there. i said it.

1234go (September 9, 2006)

You used "gravitas" twice. You lose.

Scruffy (September 9, 2006)

See, if you expand your definition of "punk" beyond "irritating noise coming out of dogpile jeans and Sex Pistols shirts", then you'll find it's not all shrieking.
Also, isn't the Casualties vocalist the definition of "shrieker"?

FuckYouOiOiOi (September 9, 2006)

high pitched shrieks are annoying to listen to and thats what most female punk singers are. like x-ray-spex.

but crass, conflict, the distillers all have good female singers that work really well (especielly with crass and conflict).

danperrone (September 8, 2006)

i think the "funny" links are getting out of hand a little bit

use it when there's something legitamately funny, don't abuse it

ILOVESCOTT (September 8, 2006)

anchors, why did you even review this? Brian, why did you post this?

Scruffy (September 8, 2006)

I think what Anchors meant isn't sexist, but the way he said it came off that way. This:

"Female singers are for synth-pop and pop"

however, is sexist.

It depresses me when I look at my CD collection and see almost no bands with female singers. That's 50% of the population whose perspective I am not getting. It's attitudes like that that cause a lot of girls to think they can't sing punk, or cause them to imitate the few who already have.
Why are girls always the people who sell the merch while guys are always on stage? It shouldn't be that way.
The fact that about 50% of the population is female and only about 10% is gay, yet I can guarantee you, out of the approximately 20 days worth of music I have, there are ten times as many gay artists and/or musicians as females, makes it obvious that sexism is one of the biggest problems in punk rock. I refuse to believe that there is something inherently "male" in punk rock that attracts mostly guys. Maybe there is, but if not, even the makeup of this site's regular commenters signifies a problem.

arrhythmia (September 8, 2006)

Loelz, Anchors is getting ripped for stating the truth. Female singers are for synth-pop and pop, unless they have angelic voices that somehow mesh into any genre, which is rare seeing how angelic voices rarely ever pair with ambition.

He doesn't sound like a sexist. Sexists are usually blunt with their beliefs.

SlowStupidHungry (September 8, 2006)

I agree with "Scruffy," what a disgusting review. I haven't heard this album (and have little interest), but the idea that you basically separate female-sung from male-sung bands on the basis that one is inherently inferior? Not cool, man.

Anonymous (September 8, 2006)

the back up band on this is the seven shot screamers. that is why this album is called seven. she saw them play in st.louis and invited them to back her up. in return she would put their next album out on her label. the seven shot screamers fucking rock. what an exciting thing she offered these local st louis kids. chris powers......congradulations. i love you, your band , and your whole fucking family (if i could of only married your sister). ill be forever supporting you!

GlassPipeMurder (September 8, 2006)

The Vincent Black Shadow is a band with a fantastic female singer.

lushj (September 8, 2006)

Exene is one of my favorite vocalists, hands down. I was really excited about this record but as a fan, it just doesn't do it. Maybe when I come back to it in a few months...

And yeah, I think the review is pretty lame even though I agree with your score for the record.

Scruffy (September 8, 2006)

Yeah, but you don't need to make that statement. For every 1 Jawbreaker or Clash or whatnot, there are 10,000 bands with male singers that suck.
Also, FuckYouOiOiOi's statement, sheesh.

Anchors (September 8, 2006)

Let me state for the record -- when there is a good female singer, I can definitely enjoy the record. There are just very few instances where I actually do enjoy bands with female singers.

Discount, Pohgoh, Holy Roman Empire, Denali, Rainer Maria, The Anniversary, all of those are bands with the lead, or one of the lead singers being female, that I enjoy.

But for every Discount, there's 100 bands with female singers that are absolutely awful.

Scruffy (September 8, 2006)

Wow, you could cut the sexism in here with a knife.

Anonymous (September 8, 2006)

wow i thought it was pretty cool

adam (September 8, 2006)

While I think Anchors is completely nuts about the female singers thing, I have to agree this is a pretty boring record.


SlackMFr (September 8, 2006)

I haven't heard this, but Exene is awesome and I love female voices. X is one of my favorite all-time bands and there are many great female vocalists out there. Whoever can't hear that, it you that is missing out.

joeg (September 8, 2006)

you may not be sexist in the chauvinistic implication we all associate it with, but that was still a poor and unfair review because you prefaced it by stating you had bias against female singers presumably before you even heard the record. if you're going to say exene's singing on here sounds boring and dead, independent of any preconceptions, then fine. you're entitled to your opinion. but those statements don't carry any credibility because you've already held female singers to this insurmountable plateau only achieved by a select few. why even review it if you're going in with that approach?

Mute98 (September 8, 2006)

oh and I agree there are lots of great female singers, exene isnt one of them

TheNightProwler (September 8, 2006)

I dig female singers a large majority of the time.

score is for her work in X because I haven't heard anything from this album

ilikepunkrock (September 8, 2006)

Epoxies, The Sounds, Distillers, Be Your Own Pet, New York Rel-X, and Vice Squad are all good bands with female singers.

Mute98 (September 8, 2006)

ive completely loathed everything exene has done, this included

FuckYouOiOiOi (September 8, 2006)

i completly agree with female singers in punk bands. its annoying.

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