13 saints is a rock band from Pittsburgh that formed in 2016 and released their debut album Crushing Cooper less than a year later. The band isn't reinventing the wheel with Crushing Cooper but the album will resonate with fans of rock in general but more so those fans of ’70's punk bands like the Sex Pistols and The Ramones. I thought the lead singer had a vocal style that worked especially well with punk. He had a distinct high-pitched wail that felt both anthemic and sharp. It cuts through the mix.
The album is no frills punk and rock. They stick to the basics and they sound great doing it. Some of this is due in part to the production and recording quality. This music was obviously recorded in a professional studio but it also sounds wonderfully raw and stripped back. Kudos to the producer who knew who to handle this sound.
These songs are fun, loose and accessible, something that is somewhat lost in rock these days. The songs don't require deep thinking and are very much a visceral experience. Take for instance the explosive opener entitled “Deep." I could imagine this sounds like it is coming from CBGB's in 1975. The guitars ring with a meaty mid range as a metronome precise drummer and bassist stay in the pocket. Don't miss the classic sounding guitar solo.
I like that cowbell on "Mother May l" and the electrifying energy of "Evil Knievel" which is somewhat reminiscent of The White Stripes. I think "Smile" had a different singer who sounded like Johnny Cash. Either way the lower octave gave it a distinct style. As the album progresses there are good times ahead with songs like "The Pledge" "In My Head" and “Lightning."
Overall this is a cohesive album with a seamless flow from beginning to end. The songs are well written, unpretentious and a good time in general.
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