Saint Agnes a four piece rock band from East London who consist of Kitty A. Austen (vocals, guitar) Jon James Tufnell (vocals, guitar) Benjamin Ryan Brown (bass) and Andrew Head (drums) release their latest album `Bloodsuckers` which deals with a number of themes, including mental illness, pent-up rage, undying love and grief. The album follows the band`s 2019 `Welcome To Silvertown` release.
The album erupts with title track `Bloodsuckers` which is an in your face confrontational opening which sort of lays a challenge down for what`s to follow. The song is really a tirade against people taking advantage of the singer and her finally exploding in anger. There`s a slower pace to `Animal` which is almost rapped at times against some brutal grinding guitar riffs. The number retains the anger of the opening track but the vitriol within is just about restrained.
`I Mean Nothing To You` is a little more considered but rolls along with enough rage to know where the band are coming from. Again, the pace is a little more relaxed on `Outsider` which is a kind of anthem or call to arms for those that feel like they don`t fit in or are outcasts in this society.
`This Is Not The End` I read is a song written about Kitty’s mother’s sudden death and it’s a ballad like composition that allows the singer to showcase the dexterity of her vocal range on this stripped back poignant eulogy. We seem to have another us against them scenario on `Follow You` which is a little stop start with pounding drums, riffs and menacing screamed and growled vocals.
`I Am` is another song of defiance that races along with a scorching musical backdrop. We seem to get a glimpse at the issues that plague the singer`s everyday thoughts on `At War With Myself` which is a pretty edgy submission.
`Middle Finger` probably tells you all you need to know, a fast-paced number of anger and rebellion. German doom trap metal singer Mimi Barks adds her vocals to the brief but searing `Body Bag`.
The album closes out with `Forever and Ever` which may well be a pledge of commitment which is shared against a sleezy, tense and at times an almost anxious soundscape.
I`m not sure if `Bloodsuckers` was that difficult second album for Saint Agnes but while there was much to enjoy, there didn`t seem to be that ultimate “killer track”. Kitty has a varied and rich vocal range and I thought it was wasted with most songs relying on the profanity shock line which these days is old hat.
Nevertheless, there is something about this band and i`ve read they are a live act not to be missed.
If you like bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Skunk Anansie, you`ll love Saint Agnes
Rating 8 / 10