Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Saints – Eternally Yours

The Saints faced ridicule and ostracization from the punk community by daring to put horns on the opening track of their follow up to the much acclaimed (I’m) Stranded album. Punk was supposed to have a formula and if you veered from that thin line, you were asking for trouble! Of course, many people did so and went on to great success, so I suppose the Saints were pioneers!

In any case, this is a fantastic opening song and now widely considered a classic that has been covered probably more often than “(I’m) Stranded”! Great lyrics about commercialism and tons of energy equal an exceptional tune!
They lose the horns on “Lost and Found”, but certainly not the power and fury – this is what punk is supposed to sound like – fast and wild, but still real songs! Yes, it’s a fine line to walk, but it separates the gems from the drek.

“Memories Are Made of This” has the audacity to use acoustic guitars (gasp!) as the main rhythm instrument, but is still an uptempo punk song. Nice use of aural coloring here. They are back to basics for “Private Affair” – trade-off vocals, but otherwise stripped down to the bone. Acoustics pop up again for “A Minor Aversion”, which is pretty similar to “Memories…” Well written songs, though.

Bouncing back to pure punk rock angst is the cleverly titled “No, Your Product”, which may even exceed the greatness of “Know Your Product”. This is pure genius – biting commentary, soaring guitars that help build the furor, lyrics of defiance and self reliance ("there’s no thought that isn’t mine – completely”) all built into a memorable tune. The energy doesn’t let up until the final explosion. Just phenomenal!

“This Perfect Day” is simpler but still a terrific statement. They basically create r’n’b-punk with the frantic, harmonica driven “Run Down”. The band pokes fun at themselves and their countrymen with “Orstralia”, which brings back the horns. These never distract and really do add to the flavors of the songs. Clever stuff…

More back and forth with the basic “New Centre of the Universe” and then the more acoustic “Untitled” – both cool numbers. Referencing the first album with “(I’m) Misunderstood” in both title and song structure, this is a powerhouse of a tune and up there with their best.

The album ends with the supremely silly, “International Robots”, one of the goofiest songs ever recorded and oddly covered by the Muffs! I guess they just wanted to show that they had a sense of humor – that or they were wasted out of their minds with the tape started rolling!

This is a fantastic representation of early punk rock and it shows just how good this genre can be!