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The Saints
(I'm) Stranded


4.0
excellent

Review

by lz41 USER (49 Reviews)
August 1st, 2017 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist


Want to know how detested punk was upon public display in 1976?

When Australian four-piece the Saints began gigging with their snarky, revved-up brand of garage rock in their native city of Brisbane, their reception from audiences and critics alike – who, decades later, still celebrate antipodean atrocities like Jet and The Vines – was so brutally negative that guitarist Ed Kuepper recalled avoiding bashings after shows.

“The response in Brisbane was generally negative and in some cases violently so – you know, if you don’t like the band, beat the sh*t out of the singer,” said Kuepper.

So Australia’s music scene must have been floored – not to mention a little sheepish – when the native outcasts were signed by EMI in the UK in August 1976. With the nascent punk scene rumbling, the major label considered the Saints to be the flavour of the impending day… and they were right. The band’s debut album I’m Stranded became the first internationally acclaimed Ozzie album and one of the high points of punk rock.

After their unexpected chairlift from EMI, the Saints re-entered the Windows Studios in December to record the majority of their album. Producer Rod Coe worked with the unpretentious roots of his young players by keeping a studied rawness to their sound. The fuzzed-out, breakneck energy of ‘Erotic Neurotic’ and ‘One Way Street’ showed a band settling into their attitudinal groove with the tightly packed thwack of rhythm section Ivor Hay (drums) and soon-to-depart Kym Bradshaw (bass).

Although Coe was happy to apply the same sound to every song, the Saints hinted at the avenues upon which they would later develop their craft. The hundred-second long ‘Demolition Girl’ tips its hat to pioneers of punk and androgyny the New York Dolls while ‘No Time’ is the most frenetic cut with a hyper piano laid over the top sounding like a ramshackle Little Richard cover. The Missing Links received an unexpected posthumous burst when husky singer Chris Bailey pushed for the recording of their song ‘Wild About You’. Their other cover – Elvis’ deservedly long-forgotten ‘Kissin’ Cousins’ – is no one’s favourite Saints song and ditto for the awkward ballad 'Story of Love' but they are the lone duds on an otherwise excellent, consistent and important album.

Crucially, the Saints were too ahead of the game to be bound by the rules of punk. All six minutes of the ragged but beautiful ballad ‘Messin’ with the Kid’ defy the genre’s later accepted norms while remaining grounded in the album’s viewpoint of being young and hopped up in a sleepy city. The title track is a grunting yet catchy hit single that became the punk anthem it is clearly pretending not to be. “I’m riding on the midnight train/But everybody looks just the same/A subway light, its dirty reflection/I’m lost, I don’t have a direction,” barks Bailey, laying down the themes of suburban disillusionment and boredom that countless punk writers would follow.

The best is saved for last as the band takes the full-blown DIY aesthetic of punk to its ceiling and beyond on ‘Nights of Venice’. Retooling the riff of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Communication Breakdown’, the six-minute, speed-riddled, sweat-drenched epic is a barrelling cage match with Hay’s unforgettable fill and Bailey’s tribal roar signing the Saints’ name as heavyweights.

“If you listen to the album, it was just not what people thought of fondly in those days,” shrugged Bailey. I’m Stranded was the biggest cornerstone in a short, sweet and belatedly lauded career.

Recommended
‘I’m Stranded’
‘Messin’ with the Kid’
‘Nights in Venice’



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user ratings (97)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SandwichBubble
August 1st 2017


13787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:D a Saints review! nice

butcherboy
August 1st 2017


9464 Comments


a Saints review! nice [2]

Piglet
August 1st 2017


8466 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude nice! this review was long overdue, fantastic album!

huskerdoo
November 17th 2017


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck a Jet, man

Papa Universe
November 17th 2017


22503 Comments


bbbbbbbbbbump

schoonda
December 4th 2018


1833 Comments


I really love when they slow it down on this record, messin with the kid and story of love are so damn nice

GhandhiLion
June 23rd 2019


17630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That awful buzzsaw guitar is brilliant.

Papa Universe
June 23rd 2019


22503 Comments


you bet your shiny ass

GhandhiLion
May 21st 2021


17630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yup :]

protokute
November 11th 2021


2488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awesome album

SlothcoreSam
April 11th 2022


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RIP Chris Bailey.

Australia's finest garage punk band

SlothcoreSam
April 11th 2022


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://youtu.be/OWeX65b5dOk





Senetrix666
April 11th 2022


1552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn rip. love this record

SlothcoreSam
April 11th 2022


6128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah a classic

Turnoutthelights
April 12th 2022


32 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rock In Peace Chris.True pioneer.



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