Album Review: Sainthood Reps – Headswell

New York’s loud indie rockers, Sainthood Reps, recently released their second full length album HeadswellKeeping with their raw sound that listeners found on their 2011 release MonocultureSainthood Reps have built upon their foundation of raw tones and grooving riffs.

This album stands out in a few ways among its contemporaries in the indie rock scene. Vocalist Francesco Montesanto has an amazing range from all out screams, to clean singing parts, that sound even better when they are layered over one another. These vocals and the meaning behind them are a staple for this band, with lyrics that comment on society and personal issues. You can hear the emotion come through his voice, and it is one hundred percent honest. The most haunting line on the album may be “Doesn’t matter how many times / I recreate that thought in my mind / It’s lost, it’s gone for good / in the last place I left you,” which is matched perfectly in the tone of the music.

Album opener “Shelter” grabs you with its grungy guitar riff, and the initial fast-paced yelling that starts off the album with a bang.  “The Last Place I Left You” pulls you in quietly with its eerie ambience, until it gets very loud very quickly and ends in grandiose chaos. As mentioned before, this song follows the vocalist through the loss of a memory, and the tone of the song fits the lyrics very well. “Drone” is worth a listen for its crazy guitar parts and epic chorus. The raging “Headswell” might just be the best song on the album, starting off with just drums, it quickly forces the entire band on you and does not stop for most of the song. The track ends with violent instruments and vocals that sound like they’re fading into the music.

Overall, this is a grungy head banging record with meaning in the lyrics, and a great vocalist to match. For fans of Philly bands like Title Fight and Balance and Composure, Sainthood Reps is loud in all the right ways.

You can pick up this album digitally on bandcamp or physically from No Sleep Records, or stream it on Spotify.

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