DRP Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/03/2012
Six O’ Clock Saints is very much a band of the current indie music scene. Their sound is heavily influenced by retro, especially that of ’80s New Wave. However, while most current bands in the same musical bracket are stylistically driven by elements of synth pop, Six O’ Clock Saints shoots for a more rock, a more gothic sound, which also enjoyed popularity within the New Wave movement. The similarities between this band from Reading, PA and post-punk acts like Killing Joke and The Psychedelic Furs is almost obvious. The band’s synth-heavy punk rock sound features lots of guitars, melodious tunes, and singer Tony Jimmy Jackson’s raspy, monotone vocals. All these elements combine to form a sound that is quintessentially ‘80s post-punk.
The band’s debut, Exculpation, sounds like a cross between a post-punk and glam metal. A prime example is the album opener “One Eats The Other” with its soaring guitars and keyboards. Songs like “Wasted” and “Memento Mori” have a more gothic tinge to them, with “Memento Mori” having a dance beat that is reminiscent of any Sisters Of Mercy cut from their last couple of records. The tracks “Pretty Face” and “Something Sweet” are classic upbeat New Wave pop songs and can be easily mistaken as chart-toppers from the ‘80s. Similarly, “Emotional Ecstasy” and “R Lee” are great melodic pop numbers, though they not as catchy and addictive as much of the rest of the material here.
There is no holding back the full onslaught of guitars and keyboards on every cut on Exculpation. Six O’ Clock Saints has attempted gallantly to create a colorful record that would express the energies in the songs they have sought to write, in their truest, sexiest forms. However, the album doesn’t feel as rich as it could’ve been, as rich as it should’ve been. On most tracks, the depth in the music never seems to come to the foreground and instead sounds completely devoid of any energy. The music of this band is such that it relies on good production and mixing work to make it sound true to the way it was written; the lack of which has left a glaring void in the sound, which is otherwise pretty good, thankfully, to the decent songwriting.