punk rock: giving ‘the saints’ their due

Screen-shot-2015-06-19-at-1-48-50-pmTim Sommer at The Observer:

Almost indisputably, three bands laid the foundations for English-speaking punk rock: the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Saints. Completely ignorant of each other and working more-or-less simultaneously on three different continents, these groups arrived at remarkably similar sounds. The Ramones began performing in the summer of 1974, and commercially released music in February of 1976; the Sex Pistols began performing in November of 1975, and released music in November of ’76; and the Saints began playing in Brisbane, Australia, in late 1973, and released their first music in September of 1976.

Now, the Saints aren’t as well known as the other two (at least in the States—it’s a different story in Australia and Britain), which is a damn shame, because the Saints’ second album, Eternally Yours, is not only one of the best albums to come out of the whole first wave of punk, it’s also one of the best albums of the decade.

There had been hints of greatness—well, more than hints—on the band’s first album, I’m Stranded (recorded in late ’76, released in early ’77). That landmark LP featured some first-rate material wrapped in a blubbering, charging, cavernous roar. The Saints hinted at an awareness of r&b vernacular, but wedded it to a quadruple-timed fanaticism and buzz-saw guitars.

more here.