Listening to Sainthood Reps is like imagining what Brand New would have sounded like if the proverbial “lighthouse explanation” from Bioshock Infinite also applied to music. Yeah, I went there.
In so many words (which is also a light spoiler, so beware or whatever), it goes something like this: the infinite amount of possibilities live out in a space we aren’t privy to, where we don’t belong. The mutations upon mutations of decisions, bad or good or ugly or whatever, are all out there somewhere, and the fallout from those spirals further down, and has since the beginning of time.
Trust me, it took me a while to wrap my brain around the idea, and I played the totality of the game. I think I spent more time reading about the game than playing it, just so I could better understand what was even happening.
So I like to imagine the sound that Sainthood Reps have created is one propagated by deviations ever so slightly away from Brand New: equal parts brash and reflective, loud and moody (“Monoculture” and “Hotfoot”), reserved and even delicate (“Widow”). This reflection is more a product of the fact that Brand New guitarist Derrick Sherman is in Sainthood Reps, and borrows BN lead vocalist Jesse Lacey for the album’s best song, “Dingus.” Which, if that’s not a reference to Dr. Steve Brule, I don’t know what is.
Monoculture is for you if you like any of the following: Kurt Cobain’s plaid sweatshirts, the dirt underneath your fingernails after a long day, the image that immediately pops in your mind when you hear the word ‘sludge’, or crooked teeth.
At its best, it’s a throwback to that incredible era of 90s alt-rock bands, with a heavier modern edge to it. And when it’s not doing that, Monoculture does their best Godspeed You! Black Emperor impression, closing on a 9 minute epic, and I don’t use that word lightly at all.
From their debut, this is Sainthood Reps’ “Dingus” –
Standout tracks: “Monoculture,” “Dingus,” and “Widow” and that freaking bass on “No/Survival”, sweet Lord.
Weakest track: But by the time “Holiday Makers” rolls around at track 8, I was hurting for something different.
RIYL: Post-rock, post-hardcore, grunge. Brand New, Glassjaw.