When the CD Speedway by a band called Blood Red Saints came my way for a review I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, I had never even heard of them. I listened to couple tunes and found them extremely appealing. Where do I sign up?
I immediately asked fellow Decibel Geek Rich “The Meister” Dillon who they were. He said they were an offshoot of a couple bands including In Faith.
My first thoughts were – Great – In Faith’s CD was awesome so this should be as well. My second thought was one of – Ok, another supergroup consisting of members from other established bands. The market is saturated with these types of bands. Don’t get me wrong – I love this idea and some have had fantastic results but on the downside, I feel as though I can’t get connected to the band. In a lot of cases, they put out an album and then move back to their original band or other projects – no tour, no follow-up CD.
But for now, those first couple samples were enough for me to dive in head first!
Here is a sample taken from The Meister’s Decibel Geek preview of the upcoming release taken from their Facebook page:
“If music was simply all about finding that golden ticket to fame and fortune, then Blood Red Saints wouldn’t exist at all. Their brand of melodic rock isn’t designed for the masses, it comes from the heart, simply put, it’s music for people who want to go a little deeper to find what they want. Drawing inspiration from bands like Giant, Hardline and Winger, Blood Red Saints are hoping to bring a little light to a genre that has lived in the shadows for too long. Pete Godfrey (vocals) stormed onto the scene with a truly great debut album in 2014, In Faith‘s “There’s a Storm Coming” surprised many and was rightly hailed as an album that was up there with the very best. His vocal performance earned him instant respect from the melodic rock community. Rob Naylor (Bass) also released what was described by some as the best AOR album of 2014. A founding member of Angels or Kings, the album Kings of Nowhere topped many peoples’ list of album of the year. Lee Revill (guitar) is well known and respected locally; he had played on Gary Hughes second solo album. After working with Pete Newdeck (drums) on the In Faith album, Godfrey knew that they needed Newdeck to bring that extra special something.”
Ok, so far I’ve heard the band In Faith involved, now I hear bands like Angels or Kings, Gary Hughes and after further research, include the likes of Tainted Nation and Eden’s Curse. Now I am really excited to hear it all!
So let’s put the needle down…….
- “Kickin’ Up Dust” – the old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is never truer than when listening to a CD for the first time. The opening song sure goes a long way to maintain the anticipated interest level. And boy did Blood Red Saints succeed here with an in-your-face perfectly named opener if there even was one. Perfect start!
- “Mercy” – next up is a mellower rocker that keeps the flow going with Pete’s voice sounding at times like an early Jon Bon Jovi. A solid background riff mixed in with some nice guitar work by Mr. Revill keeps the pace going in the right direction.
- “Best Of Me” – another fabulous vocal performance with some solid harmonies which reminds me of the Swedish band T’Bell. Lee really has some shining moments here as well. Awesome song!
- “Dangerous” – a melodic gem that starts off slow and easy then progresses into a nice pounding course. The direction it takes you relies strictly on the twists and turns of Pete’s vocal performance.
- “Love Set Me Up Again” – In Faith meets Journey is the best way to describe this one. Wow, I really like what I’m hearing so far. The volume knob keeps getting turned up a notch!
- “Better Days” – the heat gets turned up here with this amazing up-tempo rocker with a killer chorus.
- “The Best Thing” – a tune that just oozes what melodic rock is all about. The keyboards find their way to the front of this beautiful little number. I can hear this one on the radio!
- “Unbreakable” – a solid acoustic driven song, but I have to wonder why all of a sudden the harmonies that give this CD its signature sound is abandoned here for Def Leppard type vocals. Not bad at all, but if I had to pick my least favorite this would be it.
- “Wrapped Up In These Arms” – so much for my rant on the last song – here I find myself singing out loud once again and grinning from ear to ear – fantastic upbeat and positive vibe here! Great song!!
- “CGRNR” – an acoustic interlude between songs with some nice finger picking and, of course, the cracking open of another cold one – don’t mind if I do!
- “Feels A Lot Like Love” – what can I say about this song? It’s an absolute killer. The kind of song I search for every time I unwrap a CD. The bridges and chorus just keep elevating to the next level. Goosebumps with the windows down – and it’s winter – in Canada!! My FAVE!!
- “Faith” – a nice clean finish with Pete giving everything he has in this pure magical ballad. Amen!
The best way I find to review a CD is to listen to it in the car as I have an hour commute both ways. I like to listen to the CD at least 4 or 5 times before making a judgement call. I will listen closely the first spin, maybe play it low in the background, another time cranked up full and again really paying attention to detail. The key for me though is to then ignore it maybe for a week. That’s when I give it a final spin to see what really sunk in.
As for Blood Red Saints – let’s go back to that hour drive I have when I’m singing out loud and air guitaring next to some strange stares. At first I find myself being selfish and thinking I have these guys all to myself! However, what really needs to happen is getting this name out as much as possible.
Share this magical CD – spread the word!
A melodic gem driven by both lead and harmony vocals – some the best I’ve heard in quite some time. On the other hand, they can rock hard and be heavy as they want to be.
Let’s not forget that James Martin of Vega got these guys signed to Frontiers and local Canuck Harry Hess of Harem Scarem mastered this beauty.
But like a said earlier – what if this is a one-off? What if there is no tour? How do I connect to a CD that has no face?
Well to answer that – here’s another quote from Blood Red Saint’s Facebook page:
“We are not a “project”. We are a real band and we fully intend on bringing it out there live. We hope to see you soon”.
Count me in!