Battalion of Saints - Battalion of Saints [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Battalion of Saints

Battalion of Saints [7-inch] (2015)

Southern lord

I’m a pretty big fan of 80’s punk and hardcore, but this somehow slipped under my radar last year. I’m glad I found this wonderful little piece of wax, even if it is a little late. Battalion of Saints is from San Diego, and originally existed from 1980 to 1985. During their initial run they released the classics Fighting Boys (1982) and Second Coming (1984). They also left behind a trail of drugs, death and destruction worthy of a Behind the Music special.

In 1995 vocalist George Anthony reformed the band with British guitarist Terry “Tezz” Roberts from Discharge/Broken Bones. Since then, Battalion of Saints has existed more or less continuously with Anthony as the sole constant member. This 7 inch is the band’s first new studio recording in nearly two decades. There are only three tracks, “Darkness”, “Nightmare” and “Bombs”. Fortunately, each of them is excellent. Battalion of Saints is six and a half minutes of classic punk fury. Anthony’s voice has always had an edgy, desperate quality, and it’s the star here. Not that the music is any slouch. The riffs are fast and driving, and reminiscent of the best of their 80’s stuff. (As opposed to their more metallic 90’s stuff.)

There was a rumor floating around that these guys were working on a full length. If these songs are any indication, it could be really good. Southern Lord Records is primarily known as a metal label, but they’ve been putting out some interesting punk stuff too. They’ve played at least a small part in the recent career revivals of Poison Idea and Bl’ast!. I hope that they can work the same magic with Battalion of Saints.