May 27, 2008
US CD Killer Pimp PIMPK005
All the Saints are: Matt Lambert - Guitar/Vocals; Jim Crook - Drums; Titus Brown - Bass/Vocals
Produced by Ben H. Allen (Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, P-Diddy, Christina Aguilera) and All The Saints.
Psychedelic yet direct, raging but tuneful, All the Saints' debut LP Fire On Corridor X bulldozes preconceptions at volume. Named after a section of the I-22 highway connecting the trio's native Alabama to Mississippi, the cryptic title track is a hypnotic mind-meld of their primary influences, welding a Loop-sized space-groove to The Gun Club's lyrical bite. "That song is about where we grew up," explains singer and guitarist Matt Lambert. "I try to have a little bit of where we're from in everything we do, without flying rebel flags and playing alt-country. The paradox of our band is that we're from the South, but you'd never be able to guess." Lambert, bassist/co-vocalist Titus Brown and everybody's soon-to-be fave new drummer Jim Crook moved to Atlanta in neighboring Georgia in 2004, attracted by the bohemian state capitol's liberal atmosphere ("it's the New York of the South") and a fertile music scene that has spawned the likes of Deerhunter and Black Lips. All The Saints came into existence a year later, their moniker inspired partly by an old Verbena song and partly by an outsized fleur-de-lis saints symbol which a tramp had spray-painted gold and sold to the nascent combo at one of their early gigs. This duality is carried through album stand-outs 'Sheffield' and 'Leeds', which highlight the group's impressive range. The former is a controlled acid bath, brimful of scathing asides about small town attitudes and repression ("empty your church for a while"). The latter wraps its guarded existentialism in a gently reverbed jangle, cut in one-take on a six dollar acoustic guitar Lambert purchased from a thrift store. "Leeds and Sheffield are both cities on the interstate in Alabama," notes the committed Anglophile, who was turned on to My Bloody Valentine, Ride and The Jesus And Mary Chain by an indie radio station his elder sister used to tape in the early '90s. "We'd see these signs on the drive to Atlanta and realize that they also correlated with cities in England." The hulking riffs and accusatory tone of de facto theme tune 'Regal Regalia' - which, with its towering "All the saints!" refrain, was the first song the band wrote together - and whirlwind twin 'Papering Fix' blend their forebears' dissonant sonics with meaningful text and emotion. All the Saints show that it's possible to touch souls at the same time as blitzing synapses, their front man reflecting that with many of his lysergic inspirations "the tones and the vibe are so dead-on, but sometimes the lyrics can be very secondary. I'm not saying we're Bob Dylan or anything, but we're trying to blend this music with lyrics that people can connect to." To achieve this goal, they hunkered down in local studio Nickel & Dime for a fortnight in April 2007 with producer/engineer Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), mixing through summer and finishing up by October. Allen's hip hop background belies a keen understanding of what fires a nuanced modern rock band. Blown away by a wildly dilated live show the previous winter, he encouraged the musicians to hone their epic ideas into laser guided melodies. Hence the near seven minute Outs alternates its churning, tidal-axe tumult with a graceful piano reverie. As Lambert recalls: "Ben said that if you're going to take somebody to the wonderland, you gotta sprinkle some pixie dust along the way." 'Fire On Corridor X' delivers that focused magic in spades: a seamless yet dynamic set that demands to be played loud and often, revealing more with each stereo-engulfing, brain-rewiring spin.
See their Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/allthesaints for streaming songs, videos, and live dates.
The relatively new record label Killer Pimp already impressed me a month or two ago with Lithop's latest electronic masterpiece, and now they have put out the debut full length album from Georgia's All The Saints. This group is yet another in a long line of bands that have mixed elements of psychedelic rock with a variety of different genres, but unlike their competitors All The Saints have managed to take a ton of elements and merge them into one cohesive style. And throughout the course of their debut, Fire On Corridor X, the band offers loud yet psychedelic riffs that are sure to put them on many people's radar. Initially it seems as though the instrumentalists are going to be heading in a purely psychedelic rock/shoegaze direction with their ideas, as the opening track "Shadow, Shadow" offers an atmospheric melody that is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. However, as soon as the second track begins it becomes clear that All The Saints are more than just shoegaze. The rest of Fire On Corridor X moves between psychedelic rock, loud post grunge, noise rock, and a little shoegaze from time to time. This mixture may sound like a potential disaster waiting to happen, but the members of this group consistently blend them into one cohesive sound that is absorbing and noisy at the same time. And thanks to the excellent production values, each instrument is distinguishable meaning that the music doesn't just blend into one loud mess. The psychedelic rock influences on this album are definitely reinforced by the vocals, which often are placed behind the instrumentals to sound as though they are far off and in the distance. But unlike other groups that use this effect, All The Saints' singer is still audible in the mix, meaning that listeners will still be able to understand what he is saying. At times he has the energy of a punk singer while at other times his voice takes on a more melodic range and enhances the atmosphere produced by the group's music. And while music of this type sometimes doesn't need vocals, the songs on Fire On Corridor X are certainly enhanced by the inclusion of a singer. All The Saints isn't just another psychedelic/noise rock group, as their music displays a wider variety of influences than most. Fire On Corridor X is an album that is initially easy to get into, but has a lot of complex layers that will have listeners discovering new elements with each spin. And though they're not the noisiest noise rock bands out there or stoned out psychedelic rock group, All The Saints make up for it with their songwriting. If you like any of the genres mentioned earlier, this is a disc that should be in your collection. - Chris Dahlberg, Cosmos Gaming
Noise rules on local-via-Alabama band's debut
This Ben H. Allen-produced debut hits upon a few rock touchstones du jour: squall, feedback, sharp edges so muddled by sonic ballast they blur, warp and peel like paint succumbing to humidity. But unlike many of their contemporaries, All the Saints' use of noise is more an exception than the rule. Only the album's brief, velvet-clad intro piece, "Shadow, Shadow," suggests the band is no more than the latest act to re-discover My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. But bleeding into the swirling, psychedelic stomp-and-howl of "Sheffield," the opening minute of peace and haze is nullified entirely. The trio relocated from Alabama to Atlanta, and Fire On Corridor X is heavy with Southern, small-town angst (with lyrics like "empty your church for a while") and the feel of hot, sweaty summers-- particularly on the unhinged and unstoppable title track. Both it and the stormy, chanting "Regal Regalia" use noise as a means of rebellion, rather than jammy, chin-scratching flourish or a way to get into hipster girls' skinny jeans. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's just that there are different ways to wield these tools. And with Fire on Corridor X, All the Saints seem less interested in renovating the house that noise built than burning the whole thing to the ground.
Paste Rating: 92 - phenomenal - Russ Marshalek, Paste
Fittingly, this amped-up, spaced-out Atlanta trio opened for A Place to Bury Strangers on Saturday night. A new band with only an EP, they've impressively harnesses their swirly slow ride into an enticingly put-together package. The drummer, especially, deserves praise for his almost inhuman renditions of robotic rhythms. - Arielle Castillo, Miami New Times
There are often two sides to a musical coin. For every shoegaze band promising wishy-washy ethereal waves of continual loveliness, there would be the muddy flipside, bands like Loop and Spacemen 3 who were more content to pile on grubby layers of brutally heavy guitar to hammer home their message. All the Saints are drawn to the dark side, with a distortion heavy sound that harkens back to the scuzzy, slightly sordid sound of the mighty Thee Hypnotics. There is also a grungy element as well, the sonic sludge of Dinosaur Jnr with a more tuneful ear. Opening number 'Shadow, Shadow' with its gentle throbs of guitar is no real indication of the maelstrom that lies ahead of the listener. The opener clatter of drums on 'Sheffield' plunge you headfirst into a dark, thick and chocolaty guitar sound, thrumming and strumming. 'Farmacia' continues this theme, with its ascending melody line and frenzied rhythm track. The production is reverb heavy, and as muddy as a bell-bottom at Glastonbury, dragging the songs down. 'Hornett' sounds weighed down in its own self-importance, long and ponderous, redeemed by the powerful surge of 'Papering Fix'. The highlight is almost certainly 'Regal Regalia', dirt spattered guitars staying the right side of melancholy. The title track though is also pretty impressive, a requiem of soiled harmonies and crashing drums. This Alabama-born, Atlantic-based band have made an impressive debut here. Occasionally it descends into sludge but manages to retain enough warmth and vigour to rekindle the faith any devoted distortion aficionado. - Simon Rueben, The Line of Best Fit
It's not surprising that a new band might have some of the sense of epic reach as prime Jane's Addiction, say, but it's all the more interesting to hear a newer group exploring some of the sonic choices of bands that had initially followed in that band's wake, like the still underrated God Machine and the more obscure Pusherman -- or even, at a stretch, the earliest work by Verve. Thus the feeling of All the Saints, whose Fire on Corridor X reconnects dots from arena-scaled riffs and amplifiers to an almost dreamy, lost-in-it-all singing approach, not too far removed from the equal number of hordes trying to clone Spacemen 3 but not simply aiming to rewrite Playing with Fire, either. At its strongest, with songs like the archly titled "Regal Regalia" and "Papering Fix," the band kicks up a huge sounding storm while still providing space for the almost preternaturally clean singing boring through the mix -- not as an artificially high volume element, more like serenity in the midst of a storm. Perhaps rightfully, the title track, with its imagery of destruction and near-science-fiction sensibilities, is the most successful take on this approach. On relatively calmer moments like "Hornett" and especially "Leeds," things aren't as interesting, but still make for an enjoyable enough of the time. - Ned Raggett, All Music Guide
Yes there is such a thing, well there is now at least. I have recently found the band All The Saints who effectively fuse together the genres of neo-psychedelic and shoegazer. I am instantly a sucker for a band who does one of those two genres, but putting them together in my honest opinion is genius. All The Saints released their debut LP "Fire on Corridor X "back in May of this year, though sadly it took me until a few days ago to hear it. Every song on "Fire.." is full of pulsating stoner rock one would expect from psychedelia coming through a wall of heavily distorted guitars as expected from shoegazer. While every song on their LP is excellent I have included here the song "Sheffield" as it was the first song that I heard from them which made me want to check out more. - The 405
Ear Bleeding Ecstasies
Atlanta's All the Saints may start in a shivery atmosphere of Mogwai-ish guitar, piano and drums (the brief, evocative "Shadow Shadow"), but they quickly move to obliterating churn and drone. They may name two songs after historic synth pop ("Sheffield") and post-punk ("Leeds") capitals, but they are firmly grounded in the Manchester aesthetic of guitar distortion. Yet unlike label mates--and fellow feedback aficionados--A Place to Bury Strangers, All the Saints embedded a near metallic splendor into their fierce drones. You can hear bits of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin in their shimmering sheets of sound, alongside echoes of all the usual Northern UK suspects, Stone Roses, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine...as well as their American followers in Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
Fire on Corridor X is the All the Saints' first full-length album, following on a seven-song EP released. The band--guitarist Matt Lambert, bassist/singer Titus Brown and drummer Jim Crook--all grew up together in Alabama, but only formed a band a few years ago when they all met up in Atlanta. Yet for an early effort, Fire on Corridor X is remarkably cohesive and varied, its more pensive interludes ("Shadow, Shadow", "Hornett") leading inexorably into pounding, riff-bending onslaughts ("Sheffield", "Papering Fix"). "Leeds" is even a sort of folky, acoustic campfire song, yet it fits without a glitch between Sabbathy "Papering Fix" and the epic, slo-mo title track. The songs elide into one another, with the cut breaks often fairly arbitrary, a slow drone ending one song and introducing another. As a result, despite the variety of songs, the album has a very coherent shape and progression to it. It feels like a well-thought-out live performance, or even a long composition with movements.
A few cuts, however, stand out, the loud ones in particular. "Farmacia" is a codeine-furzed, psychedelic drift, its hazy vocals billowing over magma eruptions of distortion. With "Sheffield", the drums break loose, a tidal surge of tom rolls and cymbal clashes under the stately melody. And "Regal Regalia" slips a bit of daydream between pummeling eighth-note barrages of guitar. It's a manifesto of sorts, the band's signature blend of vocal tranquility and ear-bleeding aggression on display, the band's name incorporated into the chorus. If you had to pick only one--and that would be a shame--this is it.
Fire on Corridor X was produced by pop mainstay Ben Allen, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective, P-Diddy, and Christina Aguilera. He is responsible, apparently, for the extreme clarity of this recording, an approach which does not exactly contradict All the Saints' storm and clangor, but rather brings all its elements into focus. You can hear the vocals perfectly, for instance, in the feedback fuzzed "Regal Regallia", despite a floor-shaking bass and guitar riff that must be overwhelming live. The drums, too, clatter and surge with a distinctness, a legibility almost, that you can always hear and understand, but that never blots out the other parts.
And maybe that's what makes Fire on Corridor X such a kick, that you can hear every element of its super loud sound, that it overwhelms without blurring at the edges, that its body-shaking impact contains surprising subtlety and variety. All the Saints makes as much volume as a trio can--and that's saying something--but it's a nuanced, well-balanced firestorm. Not that it won't burn you to ashes just the same. - Jennifer Kelly, PopMatters
The Guardian - No 386: All the Saints
These guys create dark, driving drone-rock that sounds like it was made by young men not far from the depraved edge - but actually, they were raised as Christians
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia.
The lineup: Matt Lambert (guitar, vocals), Jim Crook (drums), Titus Brown (bass, vocals).
The background: All the Saints are a three-piece from Atlanta who have been described as a metal Radiohead or the missing link between space-rock and grunge, between Spiritualized and Soundgarden. Actually, they sound to our ears more like Wish You Were Here-era Pink Floyd with Owen Morris at the controls, or Swervedriver, that early-90s Creation band who attempted, via dream-pop, to capture the widescreen, epic feel of a US rock band. Most of all they sound like Oasis if they'd been shoegazers. That's not as preposterous as it might first sound. You could tell, as soon as you heard Oasis' debut album Definitely Maybe and its immense wall of guitars, that Noel Gallagher had been listening to Creation label mates My Bloody Valentine. And you can tell that this Atlanta three-piece have been listening to both Oasis and the Valentines. It's got feedback, fuzz and an enormous droning intensity that is both anthemic and psychedelic.
Despite the fact that their voices are treated and enhanced by a series of effects that makes them sound like they're singing from the wrong side of a wind tunnel, Lambert and Brown have the insouciant arrogance of the Gallagher brothers. There are even two tracks on All the Saints' debut album Fire on Corridor X called Sheffield and Leeds, and although they're named after cities in their home state of Alabama (they only recently relocated to Georgia), it's tempting to see them as paeans to the UK's other northern rock centres after Manchester (especially the goth stronghold that is Leeds, because there is a Mission-ary urgency to All the Saints' attack). Turns out we're not being too fanciful - ALS were turned on to haze-rock exponents like MBV, Ride and the Jesus and Mary Chain by an elder sister of one of the band, who used to tape a local Anglophile indie radio station in the early 90s.
It's dark, driving drone-rock that sounds like it was made by young men not far from the depraved edge - and yet two of its creators, Lambert and Brown, were raised as strict Christians in the heart of the Bible Belt. That's the first surprise about Fire on Corridor X. The second is that it was produced at their local studio Nickel & Dime by Ben H Allen, most recently acclaimed for his work with Gnarls Barkley. There is no funk or hip-hop element to All the Saints' music but Allen has managed to give tracks like Sheffield and Hornett a cosmic, rhythmic groove-power that will cause the sort of violent head-nodding not seen since the heyday of Loop and Spacemen 3.
The buzz: "Imagine if Radiohead were a hard-rock band with a more metal edge, or if Syd Barrett made a hard-rock record."
The truth: This is what we imagined Kasabian's Empire was going to sound like.
Most likely to: Cause a sonic boom.
Least likely to: Cause Jason Pierce to get back in touch with Sonic Boom.
What to buy: Fire on Corridor X is released by Touch & Go on November 17.
File next to: Swervedriver, Oasis, Spacemen 3, Loop.
After building a devoted local following in their native state of Alabama, psychedelic hard rock three-piece All the Saints make their way to the world at large with a masterful debut album. Reviewers have compared the trio to Black Sabbath by way of Nirvana, and while that's not inaccurate, it's at the very least incomplete; this album is possessed of the bad acid trip heaviness of the former and the crunchy careening intensity of the latter, especially on tracks like the sparse but thundering "Regal Regalia" or the blistering noise rock of title track "Fire on Corridor X," but there's a whole lot more where that came from. "Farmacia" starts off with a tribal rhythm onslaught that eventually settles into a trance-inducing groove that's somewhere between a rock 'n' roll voodoo ritual and Krautrock on steroids, with dissonant guitar screams keeping you from nodding off with the hypnotic bass rumbles. "Papering Fix" uses ambient guitar effects as the launching pad for a journey into space rock territory, and "Outs" is psychedelia with a doom metal twist, cavernous bursts of metallic guitar alternating with moments of quiet contemplation. For all its moments of memorable intensity, though, this album also reveals a softer side; though there's an undeniable enthusiasm for walls of sound, All the Saints are equally capable at crafting more understated pieces that rely less on feedback than on subtle mood. "Leeds" is almost a ballad, with gently reverbed guitar strums and a dejected piano line creating a sense of vulnerability that seems all the smaller and more vulnerable sandwiched as it is between noisy rock epics. "Mil Mil" is similarly mellow, though less innocent; its droning strums are tripped out grimly intense, drawing on psychedelia as well as folk-noir and ending the album on a note that's quiet without being meek. For all its diversity, this album holds together remarkably well, thanks perhaps to the group's experience playing together live before releasing their debut. Proving capable of playing multiple styles, All the Saints' distinct sound draws on a fondness for - though not a reliance on - feedback and distortion, and will appeal to fans of everything from classic hard rock to psychedelia to early grunge. - Matthew J., Grave Concerns
Imagine for a moment if Radiohead were a hard rock band with a more metal edge, or imagine if Syd Barrett made a hard rock record...that's the best way I'd describe the music on All The Saint's "Fire On Corridor X" cd..it's definitley lo-fi, the vocals are almost amateur sounding at times, yet the vibe on this cd is part trippy, part rock fury & it's maybe one of the most impressive discs I've heard from an indie band lately..this band is both artistic & energetic with an ample amount of great songs & there's even 2 songs that are over 6 minutes long...this band really has a psychadelic edge to them, but I think they lean more towards the hard rock stuff for the most part. Overall, I really like this cd alot, it's something different sounding & it's definitley a keeper! - Bob Suehs, Rock N Roll Experience, July/August 2008
Single review: "Sheffield" - Even though the tune is called "Sheffield" and the sound is all Brit-pop sticky goodness--uh, more shoegaze-y and creamy to be exact--these dream-weavers aren't from the city in England but are actually Atlanta-based 'Mericans. (Also: Don't confuse 'em with the '90s British girl-poppers All Saints.) You may have rightly guessed that we have just begun the foreplay period of the dream-pop revival: Love it or hate it we've got a long way to go before the post-coital cuddle, so expect hordes more of quickie, sloppy, Loveless hookups. Likely soon-to-be-leading the pack of this revisited genre (with labelmates A Place To Bury Strangers) is All The Saints. Smartly, they completely side-step Kevin Shields' footprints kicking up lysergic, dense and rockin' tunes altogether their own. Similar to the way Spiritualized and the Warlocks generate an opiated bluesy-guitar haze, "Sheffield" oscillates between bean-bag-sinkin', lava-lamp-watchin' introspection--dig the opening reverb waves and intro drum shuffle--and epic six-string panoramas. Vocal hooks swing-and-sway while huge guitar sheets crash to and fro only to gently spiral back to the beginning. Other tunes such as the self-titled track and "Regal Regalia" are extremely hard-rockin', keeping one hand around the throat of a Dimethyltryptamine machine elf (catch up on your Terrence McKenna) and one foot on the distortion pedal. - D. Shawn Bosler, Paper Thin Walls
Atlanta rockers All the Saints are something of an anomaly. On one hand, their brazen, aggressive, amped-up sound goes straight for the jugular. On the other, their off-kilter melodies and languid pace give them a brooding, ominous feel. Throw in some of the most intense feedback you're likely to hear all year, and you have a sound that could be Mudhoney-era grunge or Stone Roses-era psychedelia, with some early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club fuzz added in for kicks. The trio--Matt Lambert on guitar and vocals, Jim Crook on drums, Titus Brown on bass and vocals--just dropped its first full-length album, Fire on Corridor X. The record was released on Boston's hard-rocking label Killer Pimp, which boasts a bevy of reverb-laden bands, including current indie darlings A Place to Bury Strangers. But the members of All the Saints seem to have no problem making their own way. The 10 songs on the album are powerful and loud enough to make you sit up and pay attention. The record follows the same dynamic found on the band's 2007 EP release, just refined a bit. "Nothing's changed too drastically," Crook says. "It's certainly a continuation of that earlier sound--loud, aggressive, maybe darker." Crook also says that the band takes it time perfecting each song. "We've definitely never been the band to write three-minute pop songs," he says. "The new record is more experimental; there's some influence from bands like Can and Loop. But we never lose that raw Southern sound. The guitar feedback is as obnoxious as ever. It's really all about the rock." He's definitely on to something. Tracks like "Sheffield" and "Farmacia" come on strong and weighty, while "Hornett" slows things down to a caterpillar crawl. The lyrics add to the drama, as Lambert's breathy voice ebbs and flows with the music. All the Saints might pummel you at first, but they will also lure you into their dreamy soundscape. All the Saints began their trek to aural oblivion about three years ago, after a happenstance reunion at The Earl, the legendary music club that serves as ground central for East Atlanta's thriving music scene. After playing in different bands back home in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Crook says, the Saints all separately moved to Atlanta, but had completely lost touch. After reconnecting, it didn't take long for the three to start laying the foundation for their own band. "We've been locked in the basement ever since," Crook says. Crook is quick to give credit to the band's surrogate home of Atlanta, which has seen several of its quirky indie bands get some major acclaim in the last few years. Bands like rock gods Mastodon and the irreverent Deerhunter might have gained major notoriety from music blogs and mainstream magazines, but endless touring and incredible live shows have cemented their status. It's a path that All the Saints seem poised to follow, earning some impressive reviews at this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, and a major following in their hometown. "Atlanta in recent years has been a great training ground for young bands," Crook says. "It's really competitive, but in a good way. Plus there are all types of great bands here, and everyone plays in Atlanta. It's just been a great base for us." For the album, the band worked with Atlanta-based producer Ben H. Allen, best known for his work with Gnarls Barkley, P-Diddy, and Christina Aguilera. Allen shares a recording studio with Cee-Lo Green and most recently worked with Animal Collective. His dirty pop style seems an odd fit for All the Saints, but Crook claims Allen helped the band refine its sound and made it "even more dense, particularly with the percussion." The band is currently headed up and down the East Coast on a brief 10-date tour with up-and-coming Athens, Ga., band Dead Confederate. The Saints have played before in Knoxville, at both the Pilot Light and at Barley's in the Old City, where they'll perform on June 6, just before returning home to a show at The Earl. Just bring your earplugs and brace yourself--this show promises to knock summer into full gear. - Chris Buckner, Metropulse
With their debut album following up the wildly successful A Place to Bury Strangers self-titled on Killer Pimp, All the Saints have a rather large pair of shoes to fill here. This trio travels on similar roads as the their label mates, but with a different stylistic approach. The love of noise and psychedelic feedback is here, but somewhat tempered by a slightly less aggressive, more accessible sound that is no less enjoyable and shows the same attention to "songs" as opposed to just "noise." The disc is bookended by the brief instrumentals "Shadow, Shadow" and "Mil Mil," both channel Nico-era Velvet Underground with their slow, fuzzed out guitar and soft organ passages. For the most part, these end up the most subdued minutes on the album, as the segue into the thick and heavy vibrato guitar of "Sheffield" that manages to be completely loud, but not muddled, sitting nicely in a clear mix. There is a definite feel of 1990s alt rock influence, but rather than falling into a rut of rose-tinted tribute band nostalgia, it instead is more than happy to blow out into loud, noisy passages that would have been too much for most of those more conventional grunge era folks. The linkages to APTBS will surely be played up by others in various media outlets, but while the former were more likely to prefer the noisy walls of distortion like My Bloody Valentine, All the Saints set their shoegaze sights more towards Spacemen 3 and Loop, relying more on the repetitive elements that, while by far not easy listening, are definitely less abrasive. "Hornett" and "Outs" both ape Sonic Boom and J. Spaceman's penchant for opium den hazy distortion, but have no problem throwing that out the window to add on a bit of 1990s grunge metal riffing that somehow works, despite how it sounds on paper. It's not quite Spiritualized meets Soundgarden (Soundalized?) but not completely off the mark either. Being that these guys are coming up from Alabama by way of Atlanta, the almost REM vocal arrangements of "Farmacia" could be entirely a product of geographic osmosis, but the combination of lead and backing vocal arrangements honestly give me that sort of vibe, even if the rest of the music is much more thrashing than anything on Reckoning. The almost new wave feeling of "Papering Fix" gives a similar sensation as well, but without any specific reference point one can draw other than just the ambiance. On their debut, this trio takes that 1980s-90s nostalgia that has been on the upswing in recent months, but like APTBS and bands of a similar ilk they are nostalgic, without being unoriginal or resembling a bad bar mitzvah cover band, wearing their influences on their sleeves and breaking new ground in the process. They can balance that love of pure dissonance and distortion yet still make a song that isn't afraid to be catchy and memorable. - Creaig Dunton, Brainwashed
For a label that only put out a couple electronic noise releases in their first couple years, Killer Pimp has now had a pretty solid twelve months. Last year, they helped introduce A Place To Bury Strangers to the world with their excellent self-titled debut, and now the label presents the debut from the Atlanta-based trio All The Saints. In keeping with their distortion-friendly docket, Fire In Corridor X is another healthy dose of massive fuzzed-out rock, and it's yet another winner for the small label. Like A Place To Bury Strangers, All The Saints make a lot of noise for only three people, relying on an array of pedals and a powerful rhythm section to let the feedback flow. Under the fuzz, the group is remarkably straightforward, with a clear and keen sense of songwriting and arrangement that's remarkably accessible. There's a touch of shoe-gazing sheen that coats an almost grunge sound at times, and all the while the group nearly spirals out of control with a dense psych aesthetic. It's straightforward, but effective, and after a short instrumental opener, they blast off the doors with "Sheffield," a powering rock song that has become one of my favorites of the year so far. "Farmacia" is just as good, with rumbling tom tom drums and woozy guitars that move through alternately stomping and spaced-out passages. It sounds something like "London Calling" by The Clash ran through distortion pedals then dropped into a cave opening. Keeping a good balance of full-on rock and textural, spaced-out moments, the group drifts between Stone Roses-esque mellow-scapes and loud blowouts on "Hornett," and even tries their hand at a loping, country-inspired bar-room sing-along on "Leeds." They're at their best when they're letting loose or drawing in a breath before laying waste, and songs like the album-titled "Fire On Corridor X" show that the group can write some damn catchy hooks while inverting the pop song structure with huge verses and simmering choruses that play with expectations. With ten songs running a hair under forty minutes, it's a concise debut that hits the mark a good portion of the time while introducing All The Saints as someone to really keep an eye on. rating: 8.25 - Almost Cool
On "Fire On Corridor X," their debut out this week, Atlanta's All The Saints confidently introduce their dark and murky blend of bombastic psychedelic rock. Currently touring the East Coast with Athens' own Dead Confederate, All The Saints have put out an album that paints a pretty convincing sonic picture as to what the trio might sound like live: reverberated, distorted and very loud. Certainly, volume control is an option, but comes at the cost of appreciating the band's full sound. At the right level, guitar, bass and drums blend, presenting each new riff as a towering wave that buffets listeners into submission. Singer Matt Lambert employs a melodic, though slightly disenchanted, sing-a-long style that propels the songs forward while providing an additional and effect-laden layer to the already densely produced attack. Several tracks, including "Regal Regalia," "Papering Fix," and "Fire On Corridor X," exemplify the above, all head-swaying numbers with torrents of guitar and drums that ebb and flow around the central vocal melody. But this isn't the only tack taken by All The Saints. "Leeds," a pared-down, guitar and vocal number that recalls similar arrangements by Guided By Voices, provides a bit of a breather seven tracks in. It is smart song placement, providing a fresh perspective from which to consider the balance of the album. - Athens Banner-Herald
Album of the Week - Treble, 5/19/2008
At first glance, there may not appear to be any correlation between Georgia-based bands Deerhunter and Baroness, other than a shared home state. Sonically, they bear few similarities, other than a sound built from guitars and distortion. How these bands use said guitars and distortion, however, is a different story, as the former engulfs its sound in reverb and effects to create a dreamlike world, while the latter beefs up its sound with meaty riffs for an epic yet melodic take on metal. Yet if you consider these two bands mutual starting points with maximum speed trajectory toward one another, their point of collision would occur somewhere around All The Saints, another Georgia-based band whose unique sonic creations marry the ethereal to the ultra-heavy. Like fellow Killer Pimp band A Place to Bury Strangers, All The Saints base much of their sound on a heavy use of effects pedals, often bringing to mind the feedback driven sound of The Jesus and Mary Chain or the swirling layers of My Bloody Valentine. And yet beneath that phase-shifting sheen lies a Black Sabbath-like muscle, dark and meaty and willing to take on anyone that dares challenge it. That unholy heft is exactly what makes the band's debut album Fire On Corridor X such a welcome addition to the class of 2008. Everybody's playing with effects these days, but only All The Saints are willing to blow off the doors with some rock and fucking roll. As the dirty mattress on the cover of Fire On Corridor X might indicate, this band isn't afraid to get a little dirty. Whatever sense of serenity "Shadow, Shadow" may conjure is negated when "Sheffield" comes crashing with a sinister groove, pummeling as much as it enchants, All the Saints' contrasting qualities of muscle and mystique counterbalancing each other in an odd sort of unsettling harmony. "Farmacia" carries the darkened, reverb-shuddering twang of The Gun Club on `roids, with Jim Crook's furious drums providing the bulk of the adrenaline surge. The downright evil-sounding "Regal Regalia" boasts the kind of goth-inspired American rock `n' roll that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has failed to capture since their first album, driven by Matt Lambert's careening, hell-bent riffs. The band's name, one of the few decipherable lyrics through a layer of fuzz, becomes a choral rallying cry, as jagged-edged riffs slice through with a menacing fierceness. And damn, does it sound cool. Even when the volume level drops, All The Saints' immense sound permeates the atmosphere, leaving the listener to swim inside of their lush creation. "Hornett" is a molasses-paced dream blues seemingly amplified through a waterfall, but its soul penetrates any sonic barriers in its way. The acoustic "Leeds" is the exception, its reverb-heavy folk sound revealing little more than six strings and one voice. Being the exception, its low-key sound is offset by the title track, which then cranks up the volume, the distortion and basically every other knob until the dials all fall off. Somehow they manage to rein it in a bit for the seven-minute "Outs," but even then, All The Saints can Not just the loudest, nor merely the heaviest, All The Saints skyrockets to the top of both categories, delivering one of the most awesome displays of rock `n' roll power in 2008. Hearing Fire on Corridor X is simultaneously an adrenaline rush and a punch to the stomach. As familiar as some of the sounds on this album may be, they're amplified beyond any logical extreme, making it a truly exciting debut, but also a potentially dangerous one. - Jeff Terich, Treble
On Boston label Killer Pimp's website, it claims to have a preference for bands whose sound is "nothing less than loud and intense." Well then, that explains why Atlanta band All the Saints is the latest signing. This power trio excels in both intensity and volume. It's the kind of music you can feel in your chest. Live, it reverberates off the walls, through the floorboards and shakes you to your core. Song after song of dark, ominous low-end drone pulsating underneath wailing, epic melodies saturate the air and absolutely fill the club. All the Saints gave "the loudest band in New York" (A Place to Bury Strangers, also signed to Killer Pimp) a run for its money at the Caledonia a couple weeks back, summoning the ferocity of bands like Black Sabbath and the spiraling psych-rock of Blue Cheer. This is some serious rock from a band that's... not so serious. - Flagpole
Band of the Week - Earfarm
Listening to the album, it's no wonder why great things "suddenly" seem to be coming All the Saints' way. Fire on Corridor X is a remarkably consistent and cohesive album, ten tracks cradled within a dense fog of reverb to create a hypnotic ebb and flow in all the right places. One minute you're floating in the delicate patches of "Hornett" only to be pummeled moments later by its Alice In Chains Facelift-era refrain. Staggered and woozy, it's best to just allow each successive track to wash over and gradually disarm you with the incredible rawness that runs throughout the record.
"Sounding like a mash-up of The Stone Roses, Dinosaur Jr. and 400 Blows (the band, not the Truffaut movie), Georgia's All the Saints come marching in with amps set to "stun." A "power trio" par excellence, the boys ain't afraid to dip into some psych-doom-blues a la a bands like Cactus or Pentagram or Blue Cheer, either. Sherman may have burned Hotlanta down first, but don't get the flammables too near these fellers."-CL, Charlotte (Davis)
"Sinewy acid-psych thrum that ebbs and flows." - Independent Weekly, Chapel Hill
"Atlanta's heavy psych traffickers... local killers." - Creative Loafing
"For a three-piece, All the Saints sure make a hell of a lot of noise." - Atlanta Music Guide
"Simply put, they're loud and they rocked the joint." - CableAndTweed.com
"Driving, psychedelic-influenced rock relying less on hype and more on substance." - DeadJournalist.com
"All the Saints have a brand new, six-song, self-titled CD that'll melt your face off. The psychedelic hard-rockers come off like Blue Cheer and Mudhoney playing tonsil hockey. Earplugs and blotter may be prevalent tonight." - Stomp and Stammer
"I tracked their MySpace page down. Before I could even rush to the speakers to turn the volume down I was completely blown away by what I was hearing. I wanted to know everything about this band. I wanted everyone I know to listen to this band and be amazed. There isn't a track on their album that doesn't warrant listening to." - KISSatlanta.
"Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeedback, and then All the Saints play faithful Sabbath meets Nirvana, in sebagos, with a giant metal fleur de lis. They are loud, sludgy, and intense." - GoldenFiddle.com