Album review

 
Mojo Magazine (UK) Issue no 128, July 2004
 
The Saints - All Times Through Paradise [album info]
EMI
 
A 4-CD box set of Brisbane quartet's oeuvre, with live tracks and outtakes.
 

As melodic as they were dynamic, The Saints were Australia's premiere punk contenders and a band steeped in rock'n'roll classicism – their earliest sets were peppered with Phil Spector covers. Guitarist Ed Kuepper was a musician equal parts belligerence and vision, while singer Chris Bailey 's Jaggeresque slur was the perfect conduit for lyrics that reflected the ennui and cultural isolation of their suburban Queensland home. 1977's I'm Stranded was their energetic opening gambit and while it still packs a visceral Ramones-like punch, there's also a Stonesy undertow to tracks like Messin' With The Kid. Bonus tracks include the splendid UK Top 40 single This Perfect Day and cuts from the rare One Two Three Four EP. 1978's Eternally Yours used a brass section to blissful effect on the breathless Know Your Product. Tracks from an abandoned version of the album, The International Robots Sessions, will sate aficionados. That same year Prehistoric Sounds presaged the cinematic folk rock that Bailey and Kuepper's later solo careers would mine; much of this now sounds like a dry run for the latter's artful Laughing Clowns combo. Febrile live tracks from Sydney in early 1977 complete disc three, while the fourth is given over to a similrarly vigorous winter '77 gig at London's Hope & Anchor.

 

Review by David Sheppard

 

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