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The Saint James Society

The Saint James Society (Tee Pee)

Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

The Saint James Society

(Tee Pee)

A black-lit amalgam of glam swagger, leather-jacketed hard rock, and occult psychedelia, Austin's Saint James Society emerges from its garage, trailing as much blood and ash as sage and candlelight. The quintet's debut EP only trips through the poppy fields in order to gather the raw materials for nefarious substances – the psilocybin dreams swirling in leader Brandon Burkart's head slip quickly into nightmares. "I can't help it if the angels wanna fuck with me," he asserts in "The Devil, an Angel, and a Broken Window," and he sings it so casually, over such an enticing ascending melody, that it doesn't sound goofy. The four songs downplay the band's onstage power, though the drone-stomp "The Ballad of the White Horse" rocks hard enough to get the idea across but presents as clear a picture of these black-acid devils as you can see through the haze of burnt offerings. (Sat., 7:30pm, the Iron Bear)

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