The Grazing Saints is an English “swamp rock, doom-pop, psychedelic-soul shuffle” band based in Norfolk. The members include: Joe Quinn on guitar and vocals, Paul Taylor on bass, and Michele Amato on drums. The band started in 2012 and place themselves in several music genre categories such as rock n’ roll, psychedelic soul, fuzz blues and doom pop.
‘Ghost Story’ is the latest single released from the band’s upcoming album ‘Selene’, which launches on January 9th, 2015. The entire album was recorded live in Thurton Church in July, 2014, keeping with the theme of being “saints”, perhaps? From the get-go, it is obvious that ‘Ghost Story’ was not recorded in a studio. The vocals and the instruments provide an echo throughout the track, something which works well only with the latter. While Quinn offers the listener good, strong vocals, they are sometimes impeded by the static when raised to a high volume, something which would have been avoided if the album had been recorded in a studio. Maybe this was the band’s intention, but I would not recommend listening to this song with headphones.
The song itself is interesting, but again, the lyrics are difficult to decipher through the static. It is a mellow tune, with a strong musical interval near the end, taking full advantage of the church ambience. It is a good song, but it could make a bigger impact if it was given the studio treatment. Having said that, another sample of ‘Selene’ is ‘Bright Beacon’, a slower song, which better allows Quinn’s vocals to be heard and deciphered, with little to no static interference. Live albums should generally be released when the fans have heard the studio versions and don’t need to put effort into hearing the lyrics through static. It is a risk, and one can only hope that it pays off.