The Saints: King Of The Sun/King Of The Midnight Sun

Saints preserve us.

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Chris Bailey’s rejuvenated and (very) post-punk band actually released King Of The Sun two years ago but liked it so much they’ve done it again as a stripped-back version, possibly buoyed by Bruce Springsteen’s cover of their song Just Like Fire Would on High Hopes.

Where the parent album majors on Bailey’s lyrical and melodic eloquence, the reboot accentuates a different dynamic, with guitarist Barrington Francis helping to kick over the traces on Sweet Chariot, a slow-burning reminder of where they came in during the summer of ’76.

The best songs are rooted in an understanding of classic alternative types like Lou Reed and Richard Hell. More stately than in their primal youth, the latter-day Saints pack a punch on Turn and Road To Oblivion Pt. 2.

Hugely influential when anarchy reigned, the Saints still sound like a classic band and Bailey is the Belfast (and Brisbane) boy with the vocal talent to make it all seem as vital as it did on the classic All Fools Day. A gift for fans perhaps, this two-CD set is also worth discovering by everyone else./o:p

Max Bell

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.