SPIT THE BLUES OUT
A new millenium... A new Saints album.....
|There are those who would have you believe Rock'n'Roll has had it's day. Singing Barbie dolls, bland ' boy band ' pop and corporate rock dominate the marketplace, sound familiar? Plastic pop burgers sold on drive thru radio.
The boys and girls have been sent back to the disco and those who are about to rock take their seats in the stadium and gawp through goggle box eyes at giant video screens making icons out of the little souls on the set.
The 90's, sold in as the caring decade, sold out as the collecting decade, Christ, you could even buy a limited edition chocolate bar. The glossy monthly music / lifestyle magazines sucking corporate cock, revising, restyling, remixing, remastering, reissuing, reselling, retarding.....
| It is re-assuring then that all power in the future may not rely on microchips or the emasculated products of the corporates. The Saints have made the blues album " for the 21st century.....Filled to overflowing with flesh & blood songs that burn, rather than the tepid outpourings that are the current disco driven norm.
Eight new tracks of awesome power & divine intervention - this record is godlike - coupled with four cover versions of classic blues songs that have not lost their resonance.The Saints revitalised renditions make them as vibrant as when they were first recorded. This record proves once again that selling out " to the fickle fashions of showbiz " is no guarantee for longevity or success..... Years after the " corporate success " of their first record the Saints continue to baffle their critics & delight everyone who falls under their spell.
|"Spit the blues out " captures the power that was injected into rock & roll - when rock & Roll was still sexy & dangerous..... The " Disney World " pre pubescent horror that rock music has become is absent from every track on this album. No snotty masturbatory MTV posing here.........This is a rock & roll as it should be played................As your world becomes increasingly more " organised / streamlined / digitised / re packaged & resold to you" do yourself a favour & embrace the thrusting sonic delight that is The Saints......... !|
|...Recorded in Amsterdam, the album highlights Bailey's songwriting at it's best. Mixing originals and covers that reflect the grim & greedy theme park we live in today. Drinking songs, sad songs, rocking songs and fuck songs. Songs that speak to you of the world, not some homogenised world view, thrust on you like some de-sensitising body-glove... The ruggedly tight playing of Michael Bayliss & Peter Wilkinson provides the perfect background for Bailey's incessant guitar & powerful voice. Joining the group on harmonica is Patrick Mathé - long time Saints ally & founder of New Rose - It is strange that artists & record executives share the same passion for music & probably even rarer for them to do anything about it...but then this is " Saints World " where we come to expect the unexpected.|
|So while the corporates continue to churn out their homogenised sugar coated disco pap & bland pop rock The Saints & New Rose remain committed to releasing records for those of us who prefer music that doesn't reek of exploitation or seek to condescend to us as though we were mindless morons.|
by Jeremy Gluck...
With their unceremonious ejection from the EMI gravy train at the end of the '70`s',it seemed that The Saints were finished.Anyone who had witnessed them on Top of the Pops lifelessly miming one of their minor hits"This Perfect Day"could not have misread the writing on the wall as anything other than a garbled cry for help.
|Chris Bailey grim as he handled a cheap microphone not bothering to do more than just play with it.His face set in that expression of disdain and disgust that he weilded at that time with such authority.Relieved to be ditching such troublesome clients,EMI overlooked what The Saints had left them."Prehistoric Sounds",a criminally neglected R'n'B masterpiece-maybe the most gorgeous suicide note a band ever left."Prehistoric Sounds"as uncompromised and therefore doomed as most other great cult albums.It however contained the seeds of songwriting that strongly contradicted the premature demise of The Saints.
This was not the sound of a band dying,but of one aching to be reborn....
|What happened in the lost year between the ignominius commercial failure of "Prehistoric Sounds"and the swagger that was"Paralytic"who knows ?.The end was near,but as we have found to our eternal salvation,although perfection is usually rewarded with crucifiction,there is also sometimes such a thing as ressurection.
And so,in ending,The Saints truly began.....
Returning in the early '80's with the tellingly entitled "Paralytic tonight Dublin tomorrow".Suffice to say that upon it`s release,the first on the all new french label "New Rose",it put to sleep any doubts that Bailey-whose exclusive domain the band had become-He and whoever he wanted to call The Saints were back with a vengeance,swagger and mastery of the kind usually reserved for the builders of empires.
This time Bailey did not look back.He turned The Saints back on,and the outpour commenced.
By now Bailey and The Saints were cult heroes.But whereas whatever success they now enjoyed might have been a defining moment in time,for Bailey it meant a lift off to yet greater heights.Never complacent,he pushed his own limits and those of his band,reaching a new peak in the 90`s with "Prodigal Son",an album redolent of his beloved Irish roots,rich in references to literature and legend and containing some of his most beautiful songs to date.On it,you could hear a new even more confident Bailey,with his demons off his back and held firmly on a leash.Things already evident on earlier albums,"Prodigal Son"saw perfected.
|Having made The Saints a minor household name. Bailey chose to journey on alone.
A series of superb solo albums followed at frequent intervals including 1994`s "54 Days at Sea",recorded in Scandinavia with,of all things a Bolivian folk group he`d first met playing at a street festival.It could have been a cold fusion,another clumsy conciliation of musical cultures better off separated-if only for the sake of their own dignity-but the risk paid off handsomely as Bailey expanded into new musical landscapes filled with modest yet dazzling tapestries of sound.Abounding in all the usual illusions,and delivered in a voice that he now exercised like a whipped mongrel."54 Days at Sea"felt like another watershed,another self contained detour in a career of musical swings.
|Not content Bailey returned to The Saints in 1997 the result was "Howling"On it we see Bailey back on another pilgrimage.Recorded fast ,loose and with no shortage of great songs "Howling "is quite simply no surprise.YEAH it`s that good.You don`t want or need a band with the pedigree of The Saints to surprise you,after all,you just want them to"be".And they "be"all the way back home on this record,seemingly without effort,running back and forth across all of the things they "do"with the freedom and grace that is the dividend of years of kicking as opposed to kissing arse.
Blowing in on a title track that might have been recorded in a heating duct under the influence of mind expanding drugs.The track creates the impression of a band easing into a post grunge slot,then de-constructs it with the onset of "Something Somewhere Sometime",after which the ride becomes sonically smoother but equally as challenging."Good Friday"was co-written with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde something of a marriage made in heaven.
With respect to long time devotees of the band I have a funny feeling that the audience the band will attract with " Howling "will think of them as an exciting " new band "And history notwithstanding perhaps that has always been The Saints greatest strength.
|So to the present,after extensive touring around the planet the band have recorded their new studio album " Everybody Knows the Monkey "it is set for European release Autumn 98 on New Rose/Last Call.The US. release is now set for early '99 on the tripel-ex label.(see " other links " page for their websites)|