“Simon Templar” by Saint Blasphemer

Artist: Saint Blasphemer
Title: “Simon Templar”
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 10/15/2016
Genre: Alternative Hard Rock/Psychedelic Punk
Rating: 4.5/5

The band Saint Blasphemer caught my attention as soon as I heard their impacting name that crosses the pious with one who is anything but that. It makes you pause for a moment to rationalize it but there is no point and instead you should just dig into the music. With the EP “Simon Templar” they also piqued my curiosity because that is the name of a crime fighting series with a very popular man of mystery who goes by “The Saint”. Fans of a certain age might recall the show featuring Roger Moore but this was based on a series of novels that dated way further back but I digress. The album opens with “Nullify” and some of the groove reminded me of Warrior Soul and I guess this was from some of the vocal inflections of singer Thomas Monroe. There is a solid groove to the tune and you’ll find your head moving to the melody very quickly.

The title track “Simon Templar” is a slower and a bit more dramatic tune and as it plays through you can hear where some people are drawing a comparison to the band Tool and perhaps even the band Lake Of Tears from their “Black Brick Road” LP. Look that one up since its solid. There is tasty playing on this one and its very heavy on the bass care of Steve Shell. “Scarecrow” speeds up the pace a tad bit but it slows back down for “A Perfect Rose” which I think amounted to one of my favorites from the five total track. It all closes with the quickly moving “Breaking Just To Bend” which struck me as a powerful live track. It’s not a Punk track per se but it definitely has a rocking quality to it. I enjoyed the lead guitar work of John Castellon on this one and let me acknowledge the skillful drumming of Steve Ybarra on all tracks. Clearly, he has good command of the kit since all the tunes have a different feel to them.

After my listen, I did some more research on the band and discovered that they have not been together for all that long so I was even more impressed at the quality of the tunes that we got on the EP. This is an emotionally charged body of musical work and I am looking forward to hearing some more. From beginning to end the whole recording runs about 17 minutes and can be purchased from the band via their website or on CD Baby.com – The band hails from Santa Ana, California so if you are in the region maybe you can catch a gig and let us know how it was. Give it a chance since new music is what keeps the appreciation of the stuff even more interesting.

Track Listing:
1. Nullify
2. Simon Templar
3. Scarecrow
4. A Perfect Rose
5. Breaking Just To Bend

Official Website: http://www.saintblasphemer.com/

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