Arcane Saints is a name that people following the Melbourne rock scene are likely familiar with, having been a fixture of the local scene for quite a few years.
Turning the Tide marks the band’s full length debut, laid down recently in Nashville and displaying a shiny commercial hard rock style with an occasional hint of early Screaming Jets.
‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘Stay Outta My Way’ certainly embody that vibe, if not the actual spirit, mainly due to singer and mainman Michael John’s striking vocal similarity to Dave Gleeson, because the Jetters never sounded this ordinary; elsewhere they strike a more post-grunge pose, particularly ‘Worlds Collide’ that is distinctly heavier than the other songs, but ‘post-grunge’ has never been a thing that a band should ever aspire to. True enough, there are moments that genuinely surprise, like the folky introduction to ‘I’ll be Around’, courtesy of Peter Keys from Lynyrd Skynyrd and violinist Andrea Young, that adds an arresting touch to a track that would otherwise be almost immediately forgettable. Sadly though, Arcane Saints simply don’t provide enough moments like this.
Turning the Tide is a painfully bland album, one that wants to be special but is in reality merely a set of fairly predictable commercial rock songs that come across rather like Alter Bridge but without any of the hooks or particularly memorable riffs. Toby Wright’s heavy-handed production leaves everything just a little too slick, probably robbing the songs of any real urgency and passion they may have once possessed. It isn’t bad, just not greatly engaging, an album that lacks something that stamps it as anything more than just another hard rock record, with lyrics that wallow in cliche. And that’s a shame.
2. Hard to Please
3. Your Ocean
4. Forever Now
5. I’ll be Around
7. Worlds Collide
9. Wrecking Ball
10. Stay Outta My Way