The Saints

(I'm) Stranded

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The Saints were to Australia what the Sex Pistols were to Britain and the Ramones to America. Picking up the germ planted by the defunct Stooges, MC5, Velvet Underground, and New York Dolls, the Saints sparked the Far East punk rock movement with a blasting, blistering, scorching sound no one had heard before. Moreover, the Saints were blitzing the unsuspecting in their home of Brisbane in 1973, long before the Sex Pistols or the Ramones had even begun. Australians today hold the Saints in greater reverence than any rock band in its history, save for the Easybeats. After their incendiary, self-released debut 7" single "(I'm) Stranded" b/w "No Time" blew minds of a raving British press on import in 1976, subsequent sales of the single proved to the industry that the upstart punk movement was in fact commercially viable. The Saints pocketed a worldwide deal with EMI Australia, who rush-released "(I'm) Stranded" in Australia and Britain (and in the U.S., on the heavyweight punk label of the time, Sire Records) to capitalize on the new trend. This first LP was actually nothing but eight rough-and-raw demo tracks the band had no intention of releasing, plus the two sides of the much better, cleaner-sounding single. The heavy, buzzing racket on the eight demo tracks borders on unintelligible, they're so cheaply recorded, but nothing can stop a collection of cracklers this intense, with two absolutely astounding, blues-heavy ballads thrown in for great balance -- "Messin' with the Kid" and "Story of Love" drip with genuine, bratty soul. Of the hard-fast tracks, even today's punk fans are amazed at the sheer tenacity and outright fire of "Nights in Venice," "One Way Street," and "Erotic Neurotic." Hear history burning.

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