While another Long Island band once questioned “what it feels like to be a ghost”, Sainthood Reps buffer grainy and smudged alternative to show what it feels like to have a concrete block thrown at your head. Aptly titled Headswell, the trio’s sophomore reckoning is a synthesis of noise, post-hardcore, and hard-to-swallow indie rock. It hastily punches holes in genre tags but from the opening sound effect, it plunges into brooding undercurrents that swarm around mid-tempo blisters (“Shelter”, “Run Like Hell”) and material that naturally points a guitar pick towards bands like Mogwai, Pelican, and Silverchair. It’s just Sainthood Reps echo more unhinged elements, so when guitar parts nosedive into even dirtier percussion (“Desert Song”, “Quitters”), it does a perfect swirl around the poignant lyricism that’s lost somewhere “between dark and bright”. The material differs thematically but it’s what makes Headswell a cathartic disc, with every fever pitch confession opening you up a little as your eardrums shatter in the background.
Listen: “The Last Place That I Left You”, “Quitter”, “Rapture Addict” || Watch: “Shelter”