Jack Saint - Jack Saint (Heavy Medication)

jack saintFor an Australian, Jack Saint comes across as Warsaw's own version of Tex "The Everyman" Perkins crossed with Sir Nicholas Cave. If that means he's destined to star in a country and western stage show and become a conjoined twin to Warren Ellis, so be it, but it's a meeting of the musical minds that we're talking about.

Jack Saint sure sounds like took advantage of the lifting of the Iron Curtain to sip deep at the well of St Nick and his Seeds and (more relevantly) the Beasts of Bourbon. "Girl What You Looking For?" sounds like it could have fallen off "Sour Mash", the 1988 Beasts record where Tex and the boys got all bent out of shape over Captain Beefheart. 

"Girl...?" changes direction four times over its course with Wolf's repeated jagged guitar figure the familiar reference point. Jack Saint (the singer) intones/preaches like Jeffrey Lee Pierce. The band's cover of The Gun Club's "Stranger In Our Town" is a dead giveaway of another influence.

Wanting to be the Beasts is a noble objective. After all, by the time "The Low Road" rolled around they were the most dangerous sounding band on the planet. Jack Saint (the man and the band) don't quite scale those heights/plumb those depths, but they give it a good shake.

Jack Saint don't have the dark finesse or depth of The Bad Seeds (back when they were truly bad) either, instrumentally speaking, but there's only so much envelope pushing you can do with a standard guitar-bass-drums-vocalist configuration. Oh, and being out of your mind on hard drugs.

But onto what Jack Saint are. A band with character, for one. Jack hoots, hollers, bellows and belches his way through these 10 tunes with willful intent. "Vulture Vulture" is a case in point. The band are journeymen who don't put many feet wrong.

Some of the songs-writing needs a bit of third-party guidance when it loses its way, but the odd clunker is balanced by songs like the cock rocker "One Jump (Into Her Bed)" and "Beer For a Dollar", the latter a mongrel lounge noir-thug rocker that gives Wolf room to move. You also have to give to props to a band brazen enough to cover the Laughing Hyenas, Their "New Gospel" is a respectable take.

Cone on in, the swamp is fine.

three1/2

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Tags: bad seeds, nick cave, jeffrey lee pierce, gun club, poland, jack saint, heavy medication

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