Saint Agnes – The Good Fight EP

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There is a romantic smouldering to The Good Fight EP from London duo Saint Agnes which is just as seductive and fascinating as the sizzling tantalising sounds which it is seeded from. The four track release is a mesmeric treat which transports the listener into a sweltering world of spaghetti western ambience and passion soaked psychedelic temptation, a visual evocation as much as it is an aural one and quite delicious.

Saint Agnes consists of Jon Tufnell (guitars, vocals, bass, harmonica, drums) from The Lost Souls Club and Kitty Austen (guitars, vocals, organ, percussion, bass) of Lola Colt, their meeting occurring when their bands played a gig together and creative union emerging, according from the promo with the release, from ‘Having both grown a little weary of the self-conscious restraint they heard around them they sought to create something bold and cinematic.’ That they certainly have with The Good Fight. The wholly DIY project and release was recorded on a shoestring budget in Kitty’s bedroom, though feels as expansive and full as any studio recorded release whilst holding a rawness which adds to the rich imagery provoked by its sounds, and across its evocative length provides a presence which is inciting to thoughts and visual imagination as much as it is to ears and passions.

Opening track Old Bone Rattle provides a visual impact as its title suggests, the song a flight of hollow rhythmic tempting and rattlesnake percussion around a sweltering melodic persuasion, igniting a vision of cattle skulls around ageing prospectors and Mexican Pistoleros laying down tequila driven stomps. The initial rhythms make an appealing sinewy cage to which the melodies and guitars add flesh and the excellent dual vocal embrace heart and character. The rhythmic persuasion never lets up throughout the track, its muscular tempting a spine to the sonic blazes and emotive melodic enterprise whilst the excellent vocal blend and swarthy Doors like keys add the vivacious call bringing it all together for a sultry seducing of the passions.

It is a stunning start soon matched by the following The Tower Falls. Again the rhythms lead the way with compelling allure whilst the soon to enter guitar carves a Tarantino like picturesque narrative for Kitty to heat up and explore with her wonderful siren like vocal inducement. Like its predecessor imagery and thoughts colour between the lyrical and sonic lines presented to create a landscape and emotional expanse as vivid as the impressive song. The harmonica is a potent call within the reflecting sun in the song’s skies whilst again the keys bring an ambient wash which envelops and evokes from ear through to mind and heart.

Drown Me In The River once more enters on a tide of big and bold rhythms, something which instantly connects with the listener each and every varied time. Keys and guitar paint the scenic premise with a vibrant hue to their enterprise whilst the bass canters along with a throaty intrigue which only adds to the emerging romance of the tale and aural portrait being weaved. It is another outstanding enchantment, the best on the EP, and an irresistible bait to keep a close eye on the project as they hopefully evolve into even greater realms.

As mentioned there is a loud Doors whisper to the release which is admitted in many ways by the closing song, a cover of the band’s Roadhouse Blues, but to that there is also elements which remind of the Dennis Hopper Choppers and Helldorado, though Saint Agnes truly with their almost shoegaze like pop kisses standing unique. The final track is a simmering acoustic fire of guitar, harmonica, and that delicious vocal union, its hug around the shoulders a blues kissed piece of humid beauty. Once the keys add their voice towards the end of the bewitching charm its flames are burning just that little more intensely for the fullest suasion.

The Good Fight EP is a real gem, a sensational haze of fiery imagination and hallucinatory inspiring invention. Released as a Name Your Price release @ http://saintagnes.bandcamp.com/ this is a no questions asked deeply rewarding purchase…so go get your sensory provocateur.

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9/10

RingMaster 03/07/2013

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