"Anyone who writes lines as acerbic as “As the last rose of summer turns to mud/I would like to believe/ I believe in flesh and blood”... has to have something going for them ferfuckssakes."
The Saints – Imperious Delirium
Chris Bailey's still got it, you can't argue. And he's had it a long time, ever since 1976... More tales of debauchery (Drunk in Babylon) set over a fuzz guitar kick this LP off in fine style. Minimalist arrangements only serve to show his fine song-writing talents and willingness to experiment with the pop format. Declare War is classic Saints pop, slightly slow, deliberate but always ruthlessly to the point. In some ways I prefer his voice now it's gained an old git sneer. The woozy charm is still intact. Elsewhere Trocadero is a throwback to the early Saints sound; a bar room blitz with literary pretensions. Je Fuckin' T'aime is more of a classic bar room rock track, as is Drowning. It's good to see the old devil hasn't learned anything about the restraints of sobriety just yet. It's also good to see he can still bang out soft songs of the calibre of Other Side of the World and So Close too. To be honest I wish he'd do more tracks like this as he's got charm in bucket-loads and believe you me, it's not everyone who can pull off hard luck stories with this kind of charm. Bailey still rails against the established order, as seen in Getting Away With Murder... there's also the brilliant couplet in Drowning, "Capitalism will eat itself, I hold that to be self evident. So here's a drink to old Bakunin you won't see him in the ruins..." Bailey was always good at clean, direct but very witty preaching, and was never scared of baring his soul. This is most evident on the closing track War of Independence which seems to be a confession of sorts, albeit elegantly put. Anyone who writes lines as acerbic as "As the last rose of summer turns to mud/I would like to believe/ I believe in flesh and blood"... has to have something going for them ferfuckssakes.
Great stuff and well worth checking out if you like the Saints.
Words: Richard Foster.