Monday, 15 March 2010

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


scotch of saint james
vigilante neck tie party
album review for text by el molly

For a band that has been flooded with attention throughout the local and national scene over the last year, THE SCOTCH OF SAINT JAMES’s release of their debut album ‘Vigilante Neck Tie Party’ is well over due. However, for those who have been eagerly following Perth’s rock darlings, it will not disappoint.

Produced by the talented Mr. Dave Parkin (Blackbird Studio) the album carries the listener through the various dark and light moments of The Scotch’s psyche, much like a lonesome road trip (something even the cover artwork implies). Having no shame in showing their influences, this album sounds very much like something you would expect to hear if the howling guitars of Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club joined forces, The Scotch still manage to create a sound that won’t get lost along the well traveled rock ‘n’ roll road.

Opening with ‘Square Eyes‘, a track that triple j picked up last year and was spinning instantly, and moving straight into ‘Blue Plastic Spoon’, it is perhaps the outstanding silky qualityof Bobby Burgess’s guitar skills that is the first thing to deliciously smack you in the face. It doesn’t take long though for the rest of the band to stand out, the vice-like grip of Timothy Hazmah’s bass playing and the hot drumming of Simon Roggio direct the sound to a place where Paver Pickins (vocals) can easily drive it home.

However, with its raucous guitar and drum combination, the melodically strong and in-your-face immediacy of Hamzah’s ‘Hey Man’, is a track which could have quite easily opened the album and absolutely a clear single choice. In fact, the band could have, and perhaps should have, opened the album with one of the more direct tracks, such as ‘My Bloated Country Pride’ which can claim the best riff found on the album. These stronger songs could certainly have better held their place at the start of this type of debut album.

Steering through the LP, it is clear that Parkin has addressed each song individually. Varying drum tones and tempos throughout the album, he has crafted a well produced sound whilst preserving that band-in-a-room experience – one of the greatest qualities of The Scotch, a band which is just as remarkable live. The delightfully coarse sound of ‘Sir Richard McGavin’ being an obvious example of how you would be just as enthusiastic a listener live, as you would be dancing alone in your bedroom.

The polished sound of ‘Did None Boy’ and ‘Oliver’ (definitely Parkin’s best work on the album) continue that concept and prove that this band took its time refining the album, to take it to a place where it truly reveals what they are all about – something you would expect to hear now from a band like alternative rockers Arctic Monkeys, who have already recorded several hit singles and 3 major albums together.

With at least 3 ‘sick-as’ singles to choose from, hot drums, hot bass, hot guitar and vocals that represent everything that is great about the rock ‘n’ roll sound, it is crazy to think these guys are still unsigned. Although, with a forthcoming national tour and a second album rumoured not far away, The Scotch of Saint James is undoubtedly one of the most promising Perth bands in the rock scene today who are sure to be snatched up soon. And, ‘Vigilantly Neck Tie Party’ is only going to send these lads speeding into first position on the independent rock ‘n’ roll road.


i took some pictures at brianjonestown on 25th of february 2010 at capitol.
matt hollywood and el molly chantry are now friends.

for more of my pictures check out