BLOOD RED SAINTS – Speedway (2015)
BLOOD RED SAINTS is a new super Melodic Rock / AOR band formed in late 2014 by singer Pete Godfrey and bassist Rob Naylor. Pete made his great recording debut In Faith album last year, but hungry to be in a ‘band’ rather than a project, he teamed up with Naylor from the excellent group Angels Or Kings and quickly got to work writing their debut album “Speedway” to be released by Frontiers Records.
Pete’s In Faith album (featured HERE) took a few by surprise last year and was one of the genre’s best in 2014.
Rob Naylor also created another nugget with his band Angels Or Kings and their awesome CD ‘Kings Of Nowhere’ (featured HERE).
So, do two nuggets make a diamond? Read on…
The search for a band name came and ended with a chance discovery of a semi legendary speedway team, ‘The Blood Red Saints’ who were formed in Brooklyn in the late 1920s. Their leader was Freddie Rendetti who was allegedly a fiery and colorful character who ultimately lived the fast life a little too fast. It builds up a great background story, right?
Enlisted in as honorary mechanics are James Martin (Vega) who was instrumental in getting the band signed to Frontiers and along with his twin Tom, co-wrote 2 songs on the album. Chief mechanic comes in the form of Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) who mastered the album… Wow.
Blood Red Saints is completed by another former In Faith member (and countless more) drummer Pete Newdeck, and on guitar, Lee Revill.
‘Kicking Up Dust’ offers up a very lively start. Revill goes all George Lynch on us and it’s a more melodic and ‘sing-ier’ version of Dokken. It offers up more kick and punch than a school full of kick boxers. Throw in Godfrey’s melodic vocals and it makes this one of the tracks of the album, and the year.
‘Mercy’ is just an extension of the opener, but indeed rocks with no-mercy. It’s instantly hummable and with more than enough bite and hooks to keep the Melodic Rock fan pulling windmills on his air guitar for days.
‘Best Of Me’ takes its lead from the likes of Foreigner and once again, is under your skin in double quick time. The backing vocals are so simple and so bloody effective. ‘Dangerous’ fades in and out, subtle one moment, then prowling and pulsating the next. With ‘Love Set Me Up Again’ arrives the first power ballad. Godfrey even sounds like Jon Bon Jovi, only when JBJ was good! However, musically, the song has the strength of a Pride Of Lions tune. Great one.
‘Better Days’ honestly wouldn’t go amiss on the recent Def Leppard album, as the vocals mirror Leppard at their trademarked best.
Should we still live in an era where MTV was king and made bands millions and household names, then ‘The Best Thing’ could have done the same had it been performed 30 years ago. Thankfully songs of this quality are still being written.
‘Unbreakable’ blends Leppard-ish melodies with some Tall Stories kind of AOR (great track), then ‘Wrapped Up In These Arms’ sounds very FM / Overland, British AOR with spark keyboards all over, and what’s not to like?
‘Cgrnr’ is a cool, calm guitar interlude, followed by the pumping mid-tempo melodic rock of ‘Feels a Lot Like Love’, some kind of Strangeways 2015.
Ballad ‘Faith’ ends this fantastic record with a sweet slow melody lead by piano arrangement and pristine lead vocals.
It’s hard to sound original nowadays in the Melodic Rock / AOR field as so many have trodden the path before you. Blood Red Saints will be compared to the likes of Giant, FM, Def Leppard, Dare, etc, and rightly so, but they have their own personality. These are bands that were (still are) masters of their trade, and Blood Red Saints deserve to be likened with such.
“Speedway” features some of the best Melodic Rock / AOR melodies you’ll hear this year, and believe me, there’s not a dodgy song or filler in sight here, and that makes it one of the best, if not the best Melodic Rock album of 2015.
01 – Kickin’ Up Dust
02 – Mercy
03 – Best of Me
04 – Dangerous
05 – Love Set Me up Again
06 – Better Days
07 – The Best Thing
08 – Unbreakable
09 – Wrapped up in These Arms
10 – Cgrnr
11 – Feels a Lot Like Love
12 – Faith
Pete Godfrey – vocals
Lee Revill – guitars
Rob Naylor – bass, backing vocals
Pete Newdeck – drums, backing vocals