Saint Sapphire – ‘Saint Sapphire’ [EP]

The last two years have seen Saint Sapphire build quite the buzz around themselves. They have worked tirelessly and passionately to craft their blend of bold, abrasive and heavily melodic rock n’ roll whilst gigging furiously around Northern Ireland and finding stability in their current lineup.

The band today – consisting of frontman and guitarist Sam Morgan, bassist Jack Walsh, lead guitarist Thomas ‘T-Fez’ Ferris, and drummer Andy Bowden – has enabled Saint Sapphire to rise and formulate an air-tight-overdriven-hook-ridden sound that not only reflects their true musicianship and astonishing showmanship, but a strong capability to produce infectious pop songs.

The release as a whole captures and re-energises the sounds and pop-based-stylings of bands such as Green Day, later-era Against Me!, The Strokes and at times The Cars – coalescing into a confident, thunderous and powerful explosion waiting to be unleashed at the press of the play button. The EP stands firmly as a fantastic debut, and remains dynamic throughout. The excellent production on the record brings forth cannon-like drums, riffs as big as a house, and helps the listener embrace the urgency of the band.

With the heavy beat of the kick and snare, ‘Supersonic Pulse’ swings into action to open the EP and set the tone of the record. The roaring crisp and harmonized vocals, rolling bass groove, gritty guitars and inflating song structure produce a unanimous flow that takes the listener on a ride towards a climactic chorus that shines bright. My personal favourite song on the release is “She’s a Hero”. It’s gritty, full of raw attitude and possesses the tastiest chorus riff doing the rounds that demands heads to bang. Thomas unleashes his talent with flashy soloing laden with squealing harmonics and bends that make the guitar resonate fiercely.

Keeping the energy levels at the maximum, the band plummet into “Underneath The Sun” – a staple in their live set that presents a more pop-punk feel in comparison to the previous two tracks. The song with its punk-rock urgency is highly reflective of bands like Green Day and The Offspring in their prime, and proudly showcases the pop-structuring of their songs clearly.  This is notable with the pause towards the end of the song which is succeeded by a punchy revival of the chorus, with half time changes.

To close the release, “Another Soul for Sale” ties up this hard-hitting record on a compelling note in tune to their more 90’s influences – although it maintains that gripping energy and catchy hooks – the song has more effective, tugging-at-the-heart-strings theme at play reflective in the instrumentation and dynamics. The ringing tonation of the bass line catching my ear, the drums pulsating in tandum with the stabbing guitars, and whirling solos gliding along the bridge are highlights for me on this track.