The debut three-song EP Last Train from The Tattered Saints is reminiscent of American arena rock that seems to have an unending shelf life. There isn’t a whole lot of mystery here and if you have a constant rotation of John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, Goo Goo Dolls, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty you should enjoy these songs.
The band comprised of Al Torchia (vocals, guitar), Tyler Medley (guitar), Ryan Swilley (drums), Krumbholtz (guitar) and Mike Anthony (bass) wear their influences on their sleeves and these three songs do little to show elements that define the originality of the group. The band reaches in their back pocket to pull out songs that feel familiar in delivery, message and appeal.
There is no doubt that these guys would light up a pub full of locals who have been drinking but most likely would not get the thumbs up from the hipsters who has been listening to Dirty Projectors and DIIV for the last month. Hey, you can’t please everybody.
The first track “Last Train” is classic American rock. It takes off fast and doesn’t let up till it’s over. The guitar work is solid throughout while the drum beat and bass drive the energy of the song. There is even a “Free Bird” style guitar solo towards the end of the song.
The lyrics for “Sylvia” follow nostalgic sentiment not unlike that of a song like “Summer of 69.” Torchia sings ”Do you remember those nights when we used to ride the tide / We would dance say goodnight.” The anthemic chorus is effective and might get stuck in your head. They close with “Bricks” which is a rocking ballad. Torchia sounds like Springsteen at points during this track I'll take it.
There is nothing wrong with playing American arena rock. A band like The Hold Steady utilized every single rock cliché in the book and it worked. One of the reasons it worked was because they found their own style; in particular the singing style of Craig Finn. In the case of The Tattered Saints they have yet to find their X-factor that makes them unique. It may be lurking in the shadows and there is a good chance it’s there. The good news is this is their first EP and they have proved they know how to rock and write a tune. This is a case of wait and see.
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