MP3 The Champagne Saints - Throwing Hail Marys
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11 MP3 Songs in this album (50:21) !
Related styles: ROCK: College Rock, ROCK: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
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The Story of the Champagne Saints
Like a cosmic meteor shower of distortion, this band, this collection of rock orphans, was formed from the ashes of bands, ensembles, quartets, bar bands, garage bands and pathetic singer-songwriters who have flamed out brilliantly in the past. This band possesses a certain Voltron-esque quality to themâgreater than the sum of its parts, joining together with not a sword of lightning, but a blaze of feedback that roars like those metallic lion things born of Japanese animation.
The band is guided by Mariusâ voice, which blends the hollowed ages of Pagan folk harmonies with Christian hymnals, and, if you were to ask him, it is worthy of idolatry. But every angel has a demon somewhere inside, and while there may not be enough cursing or sexual metaphors on this record to bring those demons to a boil, he still sings of conflicts, of the lines between sinners and saintsâan agnostic with clarity.
Tadas was born of great genes, even though he often wears shorts and a laid back attitude that would be the envy of Jimmy Buffet. Hailing from the city so nice they named it twiceâ¦no, not New York. The other place: Paw Paw, Michigan. The capital of cow tippers, whiskey sippers, redneck strippers, day trippers and just plain olâ trippers. He is the final piece of the puzzleâa sort of major league closer who shuts the lights out on opposing batters. A jack of all trades, a multiple threat, he is the Bo Jackson of the band (as opposed to being the Bo Grazys of the band). He is Superman without the cape. Batman without the cowl. Spiderman without the ability to spin webs. However, he is also young legs. He respects his elders, but occasionally forgets to offer them a beverage.
Jide, the Washington General, plays the bass with Nick-like Fury. His voice is the ying to Mariusâ yang, the Biden to Mariusâ Barack, or is it the other way around? He comes from the D.C., not the capital, but from a comic book. He is an ex-Dodgey Bloke, a journey man who has gazed upon African skies and hit both coasts like a Love Godzilla. But donât let that fool you, heâs a straight-outta-1992, grunge rock ass-kicker.
The knocker, Paul Juska. Paul rebels by soaking in the bosom of suburbia, or the nipple of the bosom of suburbia, where civilization has just recently started lactating, in Dexter, Michigan. He gives a beat to those soccer moms. The straw that stirs the drink? Not quite. More like the whiskey to this ginger party. He fucks with you, but youâre all the better for it. Let the Wookie win, indeed.
Sure, Saulius plays like the Lion-O to the rest of these musical Thundercats, but one cannot help feel that without the others holding him in line, he would spin out of control and become Skeletor, without the blue skin of course (mixing 80s childhood metaphors is absolutely deliberate). He left behind the Prince-meets-Neil Diamond phase, and still has fond memories of his ride along Austin Road, but he strived for something bigger. So he pulled in this band of rebel scum like a tractor beamâsure you couldnât see it, but damn could you feel it.
They would cry alternative, but alternative to what? Corporate executives?
Hell no, they are rock and roll nomads. They lived many miles apart but have become technology whores, and their whoring binds themâif not their friendship and love for one another. Anywhere they lay their head, or so the saying goes. They are a garage band without a garage, a bar band without a bar. The closest thing they have to a home is an office space in Lisle, Illinois, the birthplace of nothing. It seems rather fitting that their rehearsals are among cubicles and office space as they all manage day jobs with varying degrees of success.
Yet they forged a chemistry that is not broken by miles. They created an album that is both retro, current, and also looks to the future. These are songs about losing your way and the joy of finding your way back, about a sinner who desperately wants to be saintly, and might take a certain pride in failing miserably, and miserably failing. These are songs born from a decade where guitars went crunch, drums went bang, and bass went thump. It comes from a time we watched shows about nothing and a man had to stand before the country and say, âI did not have sex with that womanâ when he totally did. It is something that you can bump in your car on a Saturday Night, but it is also dark and reflective which is fitting for those reflective Sunday evenings. It is the music that inspires the man to go to confession, and also inspires the acts that brought him there in the first place.
So strap in and enjoy the ride. These are the days of miracle and wonder. These are the Champagne Saints.
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