Ok let me state this now so that we can open the floodgates - Legends will begin reviewing punk. I reserve the right to reject submissions based on a number of things, but I will accept punk submissions for review. I have made this decision based on the fact that a lot of the rivetheads and industrialheads that I regularly hang out also dig punk - and in some places they say it's the forebear of goth. I'm not going to debate this with anyone, so fuck you if you don't agree. Also, I myself dig punk, and I'm the editor. I also have a more than one reviewer on staff who is ready to write up punk CDs as well. Check the Credits page of this issue for submission info.
The Saints of 35th Street - another NYC punk underground band. They claim themselves a goth-punk band, but I don't see the goth aspect. I do see the punk aspect, it's worn on their sleeves, and frankly it's quite good. In my previous punk band review (Small Engine Metropolis) I had mentioned a bit about punk's past and how SEM manage to bring us back to those days. So35th do the same and do so with straight rock rhythms, cut down riffs and easy to pogo to 4/4 chords.
Formed in 2000 by Steve Trilivas (vocals), Bluto Fristachi (bass) and Jimmy Doom (drums), they pressed A Breath Away From My Last and immediately set out popping about the US east coast and a bit of Canada. Tom Clavin and Joe Dunne (guitars both) were added to round out the line-up after the pressing of this CD.
While the Saints do keep a very straight sound with simple methods, you can watch for some shows of aplomb such as the interesting rhythm change near the end of Pallbeearer. Great indication that we have some talent here masquerading behind the full on attitude. Production is there - but low key. Garage/basement roots are alive and well, but are shucked aside in favor of anthem-like songs such as A Safe Place and World Without Me which are definitely fit for solid radio play.
A couple of surprising ballads show up here on A Breath Away. Such as It'll All be Over Soon, one of my personal favorites. Also, Some Things Will Never Be is yet another slow song that reminds me of the Ramones' cover of Do You Want to Dance. Following this K.Y.G. goes immediately into a thrash-style anthem with lyrics that make it difficult to not sing along with. I also really enjoy the album's closing track, If I Never A piano ballad with anthem-style backing on guitars further along, it closes A Breath Away with a great song.
Saints of 35th Street will probably not impress the die-hard technical musician. It surely won't weigh heavy on the minds of those who expect a lot of experimentation in their music. It won't be enjoyed by those who need a noodling guitar line or sample within the depths of every thirty seconds of track play. The So35th don't deliver that sort of thing. They deliver cut down, sliced thin, attitude driven punk rock with interesting lyrics, straightforward playing and the occasional surprising light ballad and thrashy anthem.
Post: 30-12 35th St., Astoria, NY, 11103
Phone: (718) 728-1762