The 1990s were an era of many changing faces in music. No other decade has been so vibrant and eclectic in terms of styles, popularity and sheer musical diversity. From the up all-night-rave culture to Britpop, by way of acid house and the emergence of grunge, 1991 – 1999 seemed to have it all.
This explosion of musical frivolity also gave birth to the distorted, fuzzy, guitar-laden style of rock-pop that appears to still be going strong today. The very foundations and building blocks of what has become popular indie, fuzz pedals and lyric heavy harmonies were the staples of the likes of Supergrass, Pulp and Corner Shop.
Hoping to emulate those baggy jeans-wearing ninety-crats are St. Deluxe. The Glaswegian quartet delivers their latest album Born Into Flame to much expectation. By their own admission, the band are filled with a renewed sense of urgency and streamlined dynamics that are clearly evident.
None more so than on ‘Your Blood’, and on the album’s title track, which showcase the ferocity and sheer energy that St. Deluxe seem to exude. With their new drummer firmly in place, the latter is a symbol, snare drum smashing anthem that borders on the punk while still retaining the blistering solo that sets the fret board on fire.
Channeling early Green Day, Blink 182 and American Hi-Fi who all emerged from that supple late nineties breeding ground, St Deluxe add their own individual tinge on the proceedings with an up to date sound and glossy production.
Echoing the rich and vibrant folk music of Scotland’s central belt, this song, and band as a whole, feel very much the champions of their own heritage. This is common sense, punk receptivity for the 21st Century that still maintains its roots with the age that gave birth to the scene.
St. Deluxe are receiving plaudits from seemingly every angle. And it’s more than merited in every shape possible. Where others struggle with the second album, St. Deluxe seem to thrive with a defiant, almost cocky assurance that oozes from every note, lyric and hook on Born into Flame. The album sleeve isn’t half bad either.
(read also: Fraser Doig’s review of the album at thesaltywriter.blogspot.co.uk)