LP - $9.00 | CD - $12.00 | CD lmtd ed - $15.00
"The Sermon deliver overamped R&B with a punk rock intensity," (Maximum Rock N Roll) offering devastating, frenetic songs of pure rock and roll fury. San Francisco's The Sermon formed in late 2000 to create a high-energy sound indicative of their jagged past; the current roster includes ex-members of The Fells (Estrus Records), Mount McKinleys (Get Hip Records) and The Dukes of Hamburg (Dionysus Records). The result is a straight-ahead, 60s-inspired form of garage rock that dismisses all forms of subtlety, and replaces it with an urgency not heard since the days of yore.
The vinyl version of this album is pressed on 180 GRAM wax and includes a specially screened poster and inserts made by the band. There is also a special limited edition (500) tin CD available only through Alternative Tentacles mailorder and the band themselves which features the bands logo screened onto a tin container, and includes the album, sticker, button, etc - hand numbered!
"Damn dude. This could be the best thing I've ever gotten to review.
These guys would fit nicely on a bill with The Catholic Boys. Just a
little more straight forward than the CB's spasmodics, with more East
Bay Ray-style hooks. A lot of jerks get on myspace.com and befriend me
(and Horizontal Action) thinking little ol' us are their ticket to
booze, chix and their big showbiz dream: a slot in the next Blackout
[*Chicago Rock 'n Roll Festival]. Sorry fellas, but I'm small tatters
in the Horizontal Action hierarchy, but more importantly, your bands
ain't shit compared to this, and unlike The Sermon, you're just
rehashing the same ol' safe-and-tired tricks like some washed-up Van
Nuys stripper. The lead singer even plays a theremin in the middle of
this craziness. McThrobb is throbbin' over this one ladies, so come on
over and join me in the hottub."
- Horizontal Action
"Stop me if you've heard this one in the last twenty years or so, but I
think the hottest rockin' album of the month is on... Alternative
Tentacles? Straight-up garage a la the Makers or Cynics (minus the
tambourine as an instrument of male pleasure), with the operative
difference being that they actually print the lyrics-and they're not
about how the singer's penis is actually that of a large, fearsome,
stylish wolf or anything of that nature, either. Wacky! What can I say?
A garage album that would sound not at all out of place taped on the
back of the same cassette as you have your Knockout Pills album taped
on the front. What I find most amusing is how the songs with outright
sociopolitical content- "No Beast So Fierce", "Luzerne County", "Hand
to Hand"- are smirkfully reminiscent of the two-"worship"-songs-minimum
that I understand performers are required to commit to before obtaining
gigs at Christian coffeehouses. All the same, I can't say as I saw this
'un coming. Keen. BEST SONG: "Tender Sin", but I also really like the
psychedelic "Surprise", although it kind of pissed me off that I spent
so much time trying to figure out who originally did it before I saw
that it was written by the drummer. BEST SONG TITLE: "491"-what can I
say? Prime numbers command respect! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: If
the song "Exterminator" is, as it appears, to be about the William S.
Burroughs book of the same name, my understanding is that it should end
with an exclamation point."
- Rev. Norb in Razorcake
"There's something about the garage-soul combination that kicks the
doors down. Think about it- BellRays, Dirtbombs, Delta 72, John Wilkes
Booze Explosion, Spencer, et al-the genre has an unusually high
incidence of excellence. The Sermon, out of San Francisco, continues in
this very fine tradition, drawing on ex-members of The Fells, Mount
McKinleys and The Revelers to make its beer-stained magic. On Volume
the band's debut, these four retro hard rockers churn out high energy
rock-and-soul built on simple, repetitive riffs and riding the rocket
of speed, intensity and effort. "Tender Sin"'s buzzing bass and drums
intro tells you everything you need to know about The Sermon-it's a
muscular tease that builds and builds until the singer crashes through
it with a rock and roll yell. "Luzerne County" is less of a vamp and
more of an attack, its fast, fist-pumping riff leading into an
echoplexed breakdown, its sweaty, full-on vocals charged with MC5-ish
passion. Volume's hardest hitting tracks are clustered toward the front
end. The band's softer, psychier side gets a turn with "Surprise", a
jangling, Nuggets-ready power ballad. "Miss A", too, leans melodically
toward power pop, but without sacrificing the thick, garage-rock guitar
riffs that give the album structure. The Sermon recalls People Get
Ready-era Mooney Suzuki, retro, hard-rocking, tinged with psyche and
soul and powered by monolithic riffs. They're probably a monster live,
too. If you like '60s-referencing garage at all, you'll have no problem
sitting through The Sermon."