Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saint Alvia - "Static Psalms"

Saint Alvia, also known as The Saint Alvia Cartel, are a supergroup of sorts made up of former members of some of Canada’s most beloved emo-punk bands like,  Grade, Boys Night Out, Jersey and The Video Dead.  And after a three year wait, the two-time Juno Award nominees’ highly-anticipated third album, Static Psalms was released a few weeks ago on Divergent Recordings. 
“When I Die” opens the album with a bouncy vintage organ riff and a catchy, call and response chorus propelled by Greg Taylor’s distinct wail.  The new single “Define Me” opens with a marching military cadence of “left, right, left, right…” and follows with soaring organ and some blues-inflected guitar licks along with a positive message.  A rumble of droning organ and softly chugged guitars highlight the touching and anthemic ode to Mothers on “Mother’s Day”.  “Whiskey Business” features stabbing keyboards, trombone and a pogoing rhythm along with a raucous, glass-in-the-air sing-along chorus.  The nostalgia-laced “Jonxer” bemoans the lack of honesty and originality in bands and entertainment these days and while making references to Fugazi, they aim to show how music can help shape your identity and give you hope during some of your darkest moments.  Standout track, “The Commute” features a rumbling bass line and an upbeat emo-core sound that is reminiscent of Grade with an impossibly catchy chorus.  A stuttering electronic beat (which was sampled from the Minor Threat song, “In My Eyes”), razor-thin guitar lines and New Wave-influenced synths highlight the super-poppy and danceable “Get Up And Go”.  And the thirteen track album closes with the feel-good vibes of the piano-led “Not Our World” which is a blues and Gospel-soaked rave up.               
With Static Psalms, Saint Alvia has again crafted a punchy and anthemic genre-defiant sound that mixes everything from punk and garage rock to Clash-like reggae and hardcore, all while filtering it through an infectiously catchy pop lens for yet another great album that will have you singing and moving along instantly. 

Download a free four-song EP with highlights from the album on Noisetrade here: http://www.noisetrade.com/stalvia/static-psalms-ep


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