A new psych duo has formed in the urban wasteland of London that aims to bring the high and lonesome prairies into a concrete jungle. Ladies and Gentlemen, Saint Agnes has been born.
Here we have two obviously very talented people making some darn fine psycha-western rock music. They are going for a dark and dirty Wild West/Spaghetti Western kind of a sound, and for the most part they NAIL it. Mind you, the cowboys that this might attract are more of the urban, acid dropping men in black that lurk through the streets looking for the next hip thing going down as opposed to the kind that ride horses and follow the rodeo circuit. This is Tarantino/Lynch style, warped, twisted psychedelic, Western inspired music that at moment rocks hard, heavy and Southern, and then the next drifts off into the desert, dazed by the scorching sun, dehydration, hallucinations and talking snakes territory.
Saint Agnes is a DIY project by Jon Tufnell from a band called The Lost Souls Club, and Kitty from Lola Colt, who have recorded an EP called ‘The Good Fight’ in Kitty’s basement. Both of the bands they are in are top notch, killer bands, so the talent was there and proven to begin with. And the end result is one awesome EP of well written, well played psychedelic rock. This is a DIY project that sounds better than most high budget studio albums, crammed with personality, style and intrigue. And now that they have this EP under their belt, there are plans to do some live shows in the fall, apparently.
When asked by More Than The Music what they sound like, their answer seemed decisive (given the number of exclamation marks), “Ennio Morricone rock n roll!! Music for cowboys. We wanted to create something bold and cinematic. Think BRMC creating a Spaghetti Western soundtrack with Ray Manzarek on keys and Kills-esque dual vocals.” Okay. Are you imagining it?
There is some absolutely brilliant, and I do mean BRILLIANT guitar work on their EP that just scorches. Both have perfect voices that work just smashingly with the sonic style they have created. Vocals are clouded in a bit of a haze of echoey vocal effects which adds to the Western themed psychedelic mind melt. Underlying it all, in a very big way, is extensive use of that 60’s organ sound that was such a part of the music of The Doors.
And, speaking of The Doors, Saint Agnes’ cover of ‘Roadhouse Blues’ is something Jim Morrison would listen to and go, “These guys totally get it, mannnn!”. It makes Morrison’s rendition seem likes he’s not stoned when performing it. And, it is a good reflection of their style. An even more psychedelic, even more hazed out version of The Doors? That’s a decent reflection of who and what this band is all about in many ways. So it was a good choice.
Yup, these guys are cool. I like their style, their look, their sound and the cut of their jib. They’ve got talent, and they know how to use it. They don’t need six shooters. They don’t need horses. They need a stage and some electricity to create their own, unique Wild West show. Hopefully this isn’t a one off deal, and this collaboration continues well into the dark and dusty future.
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.