jack saint - The I-94 Bar

Eighteen tracks of punk rock goodness

defiled smDefiled! A Heavy Medication Tribute to New Bomb Turks - Various Artists (Heavy Medication)

Can’t profess over familiarity with the back catalogue of New Bomb Turks.Nothing personal, mind you, it’s just that when they were at their busiest back in the ‘90s, there was so much else around. Their potency can’t be disputed.

These Ohio high-energy punks churned out nine (yes, nine!) studio albums until life got in the way and ushered them into semi-retirement, and this tribute record from Polish label Heavy Medication testifies to their take-no-prisoners reputation.

Rember when tribute albums were all the rage, back before the Interwebs became fully embedded in our heads via vaccine-encased 5G chips? They grouped bands of a common mindset and showcased sounds you might not have otherwise heard. Like Spotify without ridiculously microscopic royalties.

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.

Sowing those Bad Seeds

reap what you sowReap What You Sow – Jack Saint (Heavy Medication)

The blurb says it’s more “individually distilled” than the last album and maybe that’s why it took time to latch onto what “Reap What You Sow” is about.

The debut “Jack Saint” was a lot more obvious in its display of influences like the Bad Seeds and The Gun Club, while “Reap” seems in the thrall of Jon Spencer without being able to completely divorce itself from early pre-Warren era Nick Cave.

I-94 Bar