Written by Fense
Sometimes when I review an album, I like to go in fresh, knowing nothing of the group, their influences, what people thing they sound like, what I expect them to sound like, et cetera, et cetera. Tonight I’m sitting in The Old Edison Inn, one of the few restaurants in Edison — one of the few businesses. I don’t feel like cooking. So I decided to pack up my laptop and pop in for a quick bite. I have, in fact, heard their Alaskan Wild Salmon Burger is mighty tasty, so naturally that’s what I’m awaiting.
All The Saints sounds strangely at home here, in this back-country tavern. The folk are predominantly country; the jukebox a more modern version that hangs on the wall and lights up and flashes as the music plays. It’s a bit honky tonk with bad metal blasting in the background, but I’m covering it up with some good, hard, in-your-face rock. Songs early on, at least, have an almost epic feel — there’s a restrained noise in “Sheffield” and “Farmacia” that make them worthy of blowing eardrums and assholes, yet they’re with-holding in the pain, making it almost euphoric.
Bars like this inevitably tend to feature bad rock. It’s like it’s in their blood, their make up. More often than not, it’s a band that lacks both intricacy and skill; loud for the sake of being loud; never restrained or in control; only sometimes in tune. But All The Saints is far from that — they sound like a band should sound playing in a bar like this. They rock and they know it, and the audience knows it. Even at their more subdued, there’s an element of soft alarm, the quiet before the storm, the gasp of silence before an explosion. And it’s fucking mind-blowing.