Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 12/1/2005
Lesser Known Saint
New Years Project
posted on 5/2006 By:
This month at MetalReview has not been the best. Of course the blame can conceivably be hurled in my direction since I waited too long to enter the queue, investigate thoroughly, and emerge with at least a couple of really good albums. Instead, I’ve been subjected to mostly lackluster stuff, and I’ve also taken issue with the clean vocals of every album I’ve reviewed during the month of May. Minneapolis’s Lesser Known Saint don’t buck this unfortunate vocal performance trend as much as settle right into it. Worse, however, is that the insufficiencies have been further magnified by the lengthy listening session I had this morning with Enslaved’s Ruun, which, like all their other fucking records, has stellar vox. Though they sound nothing alike, Lesser Known Saint remind me of SoIHadToShootHim due to the flagrant genre mixing and use of cute song titles. And similar to their contemporaries, some of this works, while some of it doesn’t.
It’s not as if there are 10 genres vying for the lead here. On the contrary, there are less than a handful: hardcore, metalcore, Hopesfall-esque post-hardcore, and an occasional avant-garde blip. The leadoff – “Those Stupid Blue Hats Make Your Tourist Group the Perfect Target for a Hand Grenade” – doesn’t do much in the way of preparing the listener for what’s encased in New Years Project because it’s a 41-second, groove-riddled introduction to a 71-minute album. YEAH, 71 MINUTES. Moving on, however, if I didn’t know Lesser Known Saint hailed from Minnesota, then I’d guess they were from Sweden based on their delivery of sloppy –core. The music is not airtight during the hard parts, “Monogamy Denial” showcasing such evidence, plus Schloemer’s clean vocals eventually become grating.
Perhaps unexpectedly, the middle of “Everest” contains a spectacular burst of emotion (1:45-2:15), but it’s simply not enough to salvage an average song. The 7-minute “Baby’s First Factory Job” abandons the aggression at the halfway point, “World War H2” transitions back and forth, and “Satellite Camera Obscure” marks the trumpet invasion – maudlin of the Well / Kayo Dot anyone? The undisputed titans are the 10-minute “Satellite Camera Obscure” and the 14-minute “Godshatter,” the latter being difficult to sit through since most of their other offerings are half that length or less. Still, there are several notable excerpts to be uncovered on New Years Project, but I discovered that I’m more apt to enjoy the soft meandering of “Satellite Camera Obscure,” for instance, rather than its brand of unstable –core.
On the whole, Lesser Known Saint just aren’t polished enough to make any significant waves. For example, the record is criminally long considering how their style often manifests itself (switching between various genres/subgenres), and the clean vocals not only need improvement, but their entrance is occasionally awkward. I definitely like certain attributes of New Years Project, though it is too disjointed overall and is, furthermore, in need of manual strengthening. Nothing wrong with some “Tough Love: Judge Mathis Style.” At least the group and I share an affinity for TV’s best judge.
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