(I’m) Stranded – The Saints


2007 – EMI

Punk

NOTE: I am reviewing the 2007 reissue of (I’m) Stranded which consists of the original the original 1977 album, four previously unreleased bonus tracks, and four tracks which originally featured on the group’s EP One Two Three Four.

The year is 1977, the place is Brisbane, Australia and the band is The Saints. This group of rambunctious youths release a high powered punk record independent of CBGBs and removed from the London punk scene. They just come up with their own sound and manage to put out a feisty punk piece that is more energetic than The Ramones, less pretentious than The Sex Pistols, and more raw-rock-and-roll than The Clash. This album is (I’m) Stranded, which is truly just an album of punk-rock genius.

From the opening title track through to Nights In Venice and even through all of the bonus tracks this release just has the listener hooked on its pure frantic energy. Every track just bursts with the sounds of a pissed of youth and a sort of far gazing sincerity of spirit; there really just isn’t anything on this record that I could possibly want to miss.

Messin’ With The Kid is one of the most heartfelt of punk songs that I have ever heard, and vocalist Chris Bailey really wrings out the emotion, and then we move into the million-mile-an-hour Erotic Neurotic which just blisters which frenzied drumming and white noise guitar playing. And then we have the more upbeat demon-bubblegum of tracks like No Time and their brilliant covers of Lipstick On Your Collar and River Deep Mountain High. This album just has an amazing scope of music while somehow managing to maintain its earthy punk feeling the whole time.

I guess that some might take issue with the weird incestuous implications of Kissin’ Cousins, but I would say that the song is performed with such a sense of innocence that one is able to get over the disturbing element rather quickly. All things considered Kissin’ Cousins isn’t even all that creepy for pop-music. I mean, listen to Bing Crosby’s It’s Cold Outside or Kylie Minogue’s The Devil You Know and you’ll realize that there are way more disturbing songs out there.

Demolition Girl is also just an amazing track. It’s pounding and angry without any real call to action, and immaculately composed for its astounding simplicity. Then again I might just have a soft spot for this song because it reminds me of my soon to be wife, and we’ve had many good times rioting around our living room while listening to it. But, I think, that this heart-warming attachment to the track doesn’t actually take away from its sheer brilliance as a piece of music.

So, my final verdict is that (I’m) Stranded  is really just a masterpiece of music. It is up there in the league of Give ‘Em Enough Rope and Never Mind The Bollocks in terms of being an amazing punk album, and it is also just up there in the ranks of brilliant rock albums. It really is just wonderful and I think that it would make a great addition to anyone’s collection whether they’re a punk fan or not. I would also say that if you are a punk fan and you really want to get someone else into the whole genre then this might be a good starting point for them. It’s raw and loud yet somehow still incredibly accessible.

RATING: *****/5

P.S

If you really want to have some fun while listening to (I’m) Stranded then I have to tell you about the drinking game that goes along with the album.

Get yourself a nice cheap bottle of something or other and a whole group of punk inclined friends and take a drink when:

–       A new track starts

–       They say “Oh Yeah”

–       They say “Alright”

–       They say “Come One”

–       And one drink for every time they count a number (“One, Two, Three, Four”) and another drink for every time they successfully make it to “Four”.

Good luck and happy drinking.

Here’s the wonderful video for the title track from The Saints’ album ‘(I’m) Stranded’

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