Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REVIEW: Saint Rich - Beyond the Drone

We first heard Saint Rich back in the summer, and noted what I heard as T Rex influences. The song "Officer" was the advance track, and Christian Peslak's vocal (along with Steve Marion's guitar) definitely bear out that comparison. But there's a lot more here than echoes of classic glam rock (as welcome, really, as those are). This is an interesting record - one could play "spot the influences" enjoyably for a while. As mentioned, there's a definite Bolan/Bowie/Eno guitar glam lean to "Officer":

Saint Rich - "Officer" from stereogum on Vimeo.

You can download that track here:

But digging further, there are pure pop moments, on songs like "Dreams" that call to mind classic Ray Davies songcraft with its warm vocal and gently insistent, catchy guitar riffs. There's straight-ahead guitar rock like "Black and Brown" and "You Ain't Even Worth the Night" (but even there, the big guitar riffs give way to a gentle, sinuous vocal), and there is even some Americana, sort of a folk rock/California country influence notable in "Already Gone".

Echoes of classic pop rock, easygoing psychedelia, but a truly original sound, born of a partnership accidentally struck up but years in the making. Peslak and Marion had been playing in the New Jersey rock scene for years when Peslak was recruited into Marion's Delicate Steve project - and at some point, they started working on material that by no means fit their Delicate Steve sound, and Saint Rich was born.

This album is a unique combination of immediate catchiness and a depth of song structure, making it something that will be pulled out years from now and create a mood - something like your old ELO or Kinks records. You can learn more, and actually stream the whole album at their Merge Records page - links below.

Saint Rich at Merge Records

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