There’s life in dear old Scotland yet and Saint Max and the Fanatics seems determined to prove that music amongst the haggis munchers is more than cardigan wearing, guitar strumming revivalism. And the best cure for the ever prevalent Scottish self pity? A bloody horn section, that’s what!
Starting off with boisterous – there is no better word for it - “A Life Worth Living”, the stage is set for some intense glue sniffing taking those Morrissey style words off into the horizon in pursuit of the late lamented Punch and The Apostles. That’s a horn powered journey worth taking and, as extra rations, “Afraid Of Love” supplies some energetic quasi-essential post punk crooning. Then, almost without warning, it’s time for a heady mix of ennui and ska as “Let ‘Em Have It Sunshine” crosses the line between anti-depressants and Madness.
After failing to renew the prescription for those very anti-depressants, Saint Max heads off into bleaker territory – but not without a knowing wink to the eighties – in search of a crooning pastiche opportunity before returning to the jagged edge of conventionality with “Die Annie Die” for a surfing into the atmosphere crash and burn ending.
The songs are spirited and the band show far more life than you normally get north of the border so this EP is more than worthy of your hard earned pennies. If only I could get rid of the thought that I’ve just heard what Morrissey would sound like if he had indulged in a credit card’s worth of speed…
Available from Bandcamp.