While on hiatus, there were several artists/bands/albums that crossed my desk that I wanted desperately to write about, but just didn’t have the proper time. Saint Bernadette was one of those bands.
Hailing from Bridgeport, Connecticut, the quintet is made up of vocalist Meredith DiMenna, guitarist and husband Keith “Touch” Sanders, guitarist Joe Novelli, bassist Brian Anderson and Dave Valle on drums. Together, the group has released three recordings, the latest in the form of the Word To The Lourdes EP which was released this past April and what is to be the first of three recordings the band has scheduled for 2009, all to be released on their own label, Exotic Recordings.
While originally unfamiliar with the band, Lourdes quickly perked up my ears with how tasty this ensemble truly is. Armed with DiMenna’s take-charge vocals and the tight and masterful music-makers that support her, Saint Bernadette create a lively and kinetic mix of rock that while completely relevant today, it also contains hints of Concrete Blonde‘s earlier recordings; DiMenna herself possessing a Napolitano-like grit.
Saint Bernadette’s debut album, In The Ballroom, was released in 2007, recorded in just a few days at the Bijou Theater in Bridgeport, Connecticut and introduced the band as a formative talent whose sound is an evocative fusion of bluesy and gritty rock served up by a frontwoman whose voice was designed for sold-out venues.
They do better when I leave them alone
I get the message, baby
You’re on your own
I take a minute just to rearrange it
And sit beside you so you can make your own changes
~ Saint Bernadette
In 2008, the band released the I Wanna Tell You Something EP, and immediately you’ll hear a transformation; their sound is noticeably less hazy and they decided to turn things up a notch. At times you’ll hear DiMenna’s amazing vocals soar as she rides the music’s current without ever being overpowered.
Standouts include the opening track, ‘In Between,’ with its heavy guitar work and electric howls. Also noteworthy is ‘Love Is A Stranger,’ which features an amazing, concussive chorus and truly wondrous guitar work.
Saint Bernadette’s third outing, Word To The Lourdes, takes things even further, easily becoming the band’s most rock-infused collection of songs.
Immediately upon hearing its opening track, the retro-esque style of ‘Nobody Wants My Kind Words,’ I was completely hooked by this incredible band.
Other highlights include ‘Already Gone,’ a momentous tornado of drums and guitar which DiMenna’s vocals again steer effortlessly to success and the simplicity of ‘I Can’t Add You To My List,’ which is pure rock’n roll through and through.
Saint Bernadette just finished a short tour on the eastern coast, but will undoubtedly be making further appearances this year. If you have the opportunity to catch them, I’ve read that their live show will definitely leave you awestruck.