Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
The path to salvation is whatever you desire it to be, sometimes it is filled with razor wire and the half dragged painted signposts which declare the two word legend of Keep Out with stern authority but with half a wink in the eyes that dares the wanderer, the searcher of truth to climb over and see how far they get.
At other times the pathway is clear, find the one thing that drives you and keep doing it, for the lucky, for the fortunate, music is the only way to be considered, like that beautiful stranger who entrances you with wild plans and the urge to fly, sometimes salvation is exactly where it has always been, in the arms of music.
The hero always finds their way to whichever path suits them best, and when leaving the confines of the much maligned dead end town in search of that one true meaning, for many the question at the end remains Are You Free?
Crash City Saints ask that question without fear or interruption, their own particular highway having been the route of their own deliverance and the autobiographical nature they have stamped throughout their new album Are You Free?
It is a stamp that has blossomed into a tattoo, a trusted truth because it is so indelibly inked forever and bleeds into the veins and mixes with the stuff of the Universe. Salvation for the hero of the concept comes from imbibing from the Madchester scene, the sound of the early 90s before the world seemed a much more darker place, musically anyway, and for a band from across the Atlantic to use this idea, the ideology not just the Manchester bands but the echoes of riffs from groups such as the bountiful Smashing Pumpkins, lay this album very much down as a prime example of a path in which to truly follow, that the sign post is daring you to try something new again.
In tracks such as the opener Ice Cream Headache, Weirdos Need Love Too, There’s No School Tomorrow and Annabella the idea comes across with the best of realisation, that the notion of the concept album is alive and living in a different beast; a tumultuous storm of great rhythm and blissful memory.
Are You Free? If not, then you need to break the ties that bind you, slip over the fence with the warning sign, after all, sometimes that notice is just for show and Crash City Saints can point you in the right direction.
Crash City Saints’ Are You Free? is released on August 11th via Saint Marie Records.
Ian D. Hall