The Sainte Catherines Review

The Sainte Catherines - Fire WorksThe Sainte Catherine’s
Fire Works
Big Ugly Fish Records

Have you ever travelled to Montreal? Actually half of Canada? Me too, but I know a man that did, and even does. Moreover he has long made me aware of The Sainte Catherines; to be honest it was just a name of one of twenty competent Punk bands that a couple of TSC tracks made the odd CD compilation we swapped between mates. So imagine the surprise to be presented with ‘Fire Works’ the new album, face to face with a host of a diverse array of tracks, even more so, compared to the odd track I’d previously strayed upon. Though formed in 1999 this is my first major taste of Sainte Catherines, best to go into some kind of detail.

The band seems to draw on a wide range of influences from 1970’s rock and punk to eighties post punk hardcore. So there are influences that range from Alice Cooper, Kiss, New York Dolls, Ramones. I can also hear traces of bands like Pennywise, Offspring and NOFX and the vocals; remind me of The Styrenes. ‘Fireworks’ contains expansive music ingredients, all are from the various stages of rock and punk make no mistake, there is no one holding their finger in their ear or anything as dumb as that. The Sainte Catherines are far more immediate, engaging and delivered with attitude, you can go from the melodic and 4/4 tempo opening of ‘We Used to Be In Love’ to the full tilt of ‘The Great Somewhere Else’ two very different songs, one large umbrella.

‘BLR Vs Cancer’, also stands out, the song comes across all Styrenes’ (minus the piano) meets the Rocky Horror Show. While the track that could go down as the best soundtrack to that Chicago High School End Of Year Prom; still mired suitably twisted memories, long compressed questions still remain; then as the light finally begins to shine, we  go  straight into the rock tinged occasionally harmonica driven, ‘Back To The Basement That I Love’. Next up, ‘Maggie And Dave’ has a great classic feel and a king sized hook, then it’s ‘No Friends’, just give this song an extra verse and it’s my choice for a single. The three guitar ‘frontline’ of TSC really help fill out the sound, after ten plus years the 5-piece appear to be breaking loose a little, bringing in a handful of unexpected instruments and with more complex song structures, there is some hard work behind the scenes of ‘Fire Works’.

The Sainte Catherines have released a not totally unexpected, but a surprise of an album, it’s not anarcho or hardcore; ‘Fire Works’ has too many influences. Overall this is punk albeit influenced by 1970’s rock and 1990’s Orange county punk. Good to hear a band in such great form.



The Sainte Catherines ‘Fire Works’ CD

The Sainte Catherines - Fire WorksFire Works’ by Montreal’s The Sainte Catherines is a melodic, positive, entertaining, and most interestingly coiffed LP to come out in years, all courtesy of Big Ugly Fish Recordings and is out now in the UK and Europe. You can order yours now at a special from the Big Ugly Fish Cornershop right now.

This record takes its cues from the band’s early influences like American Steel, the Broadways, Jawbreaker and Fifteen, and strains it through a sieve of 70’s rock, like a French Canadian wine that will kick your dick off, get you drunk, eat all your poutine (Chips, Canadian Cheese and gravy, fast food) and find you hung over in the morning humming the most melodic and positive tunes of the bands storied career.

The emo kids like ’em, the punk kids like ’em. No one quite knows what to do with them because they’ve got three meaty guitars, a front man “Hugo Mudie”, that exists at that elusive vortex where Hank Von Helvelte, Chuck Ragan and the bar where Cirque du Soliel clowns go to get drunk all converge, and haircuts that would scare the shit out of almost any mum.

Expect an exhaustive touring schedule from The Sainte Catherine’s for the Fire Works cycle. They’re loved in Europe, Canada and the stinkiest most festering pits in all of the US so get out your mustache, cut your bangs at a weird angle and give me a “Tabarnak!” for The Sainte Catherine’s. Um…also, they’ve got funny names and they’re not above wearing vests. Did I mention that? Okay. I thankenyou.


The Sainte Catherines on Soundcloud

Tour Dates Winter 2011

Friday 11 February
Café Nord-Ouest Trois-Rivières, QC, Canada
Saturday 12 February
Pub St-maurice Repentigny, QC, Canada
Wednesday 23 February
Mac Daids Le Havre, France
Thursday 24 February
Scene Michelet Nantes, France
Friday 25 February
The Sainte Catherines with Maladroit, Nowadayz, and MENPENTI at Heretic Club, Bordeaux, France
Saturday 26 February
Celtic Pub Tarbes, France
Sunday 27 February
La Dynamo Toulouse, France
Monday 28 February
O`bundies Marseilles, France
Tuesday 01 March
Warm Audio Lyon, France
Wednesday 02 March
Soap Box Club Nancy, France
Thursday 03 March
Les Combustibles Paris, France
Friday 04 March
Shaka Laka hazebrouck, France
Saturday 05 March
Peniche Fulmar Brussels, Belgium
Friday 18 March
With Tenement at Reggie’s Rock Club Chicago, IL, US
Saturday 26 March
Le Trou Du Diable Shawinigan, QC, Canada
Thursday 12 May
Dear Landlord with The Sainte Catherines at the Knitting Factory Brooklyn, NY, US