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Underground Saints

 

Underground Saints – Broken Machines

Reviewed by:
Jason Knorr
PA Music Scene

 Artist: Underground Saints
Album: Broken Machines

 
4 out of 5 Saints

        

 

 
Across the desk comes yet another CD produced and recorded by Bret Alexander of The Badlees fame.  Does this guy ever sleep?  If anything, the steady stream of music coming from his camp proves that he is one of the most sought after producers in Pennsylvania and from the material I have been hearing… with good reason.

Underground Saints debut release since their culmination in 2007 is titled Broken Machines.  From the worksmanship that I hear on this album, the only thing that will be broken is everyone’s copy of their CD from being played too much.  A beautifully packaged CD with simple but effective artwork with a professional insert jam-packed with lyrics.

The opening track “My Finest Hour” is a great intro song.  John Smith’s vocals remind me a bit of Jeff Buckley.  He sings with a high pitch throwing in falsetto flares here and there, a very solid voice to be fronting a very solid album.  The whole album is mixed to perfection; I would expect nothing less coming from Saturation Acres.  Very creative percussion tracks that are not overdone but right in the pocket, haunting harmonies and tasteful guitar tracks that are panned far to the left and right with hints of vibrato.  This isn’t your typical release from a local band.  This could be a professional CD crafted by any national recording artist.  It is modern and pleasing to the ears.

Overall, I give this album 4 out of 5.  It is a dignified recording filled with impressive musicians and very good songs.  While everything about this album is noteworthy, my only disappointment is that there aren’t any songs on the album with a insatiable hook that keeps you going back for more.  All the songs are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t find myself looking forward to one particular song in my countless listens to the album.  I did however, very much enjoy it and I am sure I will listen to it again in the future.   

My favorite track on the album is the final track “Each Blue Tomorrow”.  You get a great listen to Smith’s crisp vocals backed by some alluring acoustic guitar and piano.  Each song on this album seems to have a deep rooted spiritual theme, coupled with the bands name, makes me wonder if The Underground Saints are trying to do more then just make some great music.

 

 

Release Year: 2010

Produced By: Bret Alexander, Justin King (one track) and Aaron Fink (two tracks)

 

Engineered, Mixed, & Mastered by: Bret Alexander

Executive Producer: Patrick E Flynn Sr.

Recorded At: Saturation Acres

 

Packaging: Professional Digipack W/ Insert

 

Website:

www.myspace.com/theundergroundsaints -    www.facebook.com/pages/underground-saints

 

Musicians:

John Smith – Vocals, Guitars, Keys, Percussion

Pat Flynn – Guitars, Keys, Backing Vocals, Lapsteel, Orchestration

Mark Kiesinger – Bass

A.J. Jump – Drums, Percussion

 

Additional Musicians:

Justin King – Guitar track 3

Bret Alexander – Track 5 & 10

Gator McClusky – Triangle track 2

 

All Lyrics by Smith

 

Song Tracks:

 

  1. My Finest Hour
  2. All Our Lives
  3. A New Constellation
  4. Watch These Eyes
  5. No Alibi’s I’ve Known
  6. Pseudo Friends
  7. Dumbing Down The World
  8. A Moment
  9. Plastic Scenes
  10. Not Only The Strong
  11. Broken Machines
  12. Each Blue Tomorrow