About every five years or so in the punk and hardcore scene a band
comes along that changes everything. They just fill in all the gaps
that you never knew were even there until you put on that record,
and it's all so new. The last time I remember that happening was
with Born Against. Saint James Infirmary hasn't been around that
long, from what I understand less than two years. In their short
existence, it's been far from quiet. They've been moving along fast
despite all the obstacles that have come in their way. Their live
shows are definatley something to witness. Go see them. I've
listened to their seven inch dozens of times, seen them live a few
times, and I still can't figure them out. Every time it's new, and
-Sean Prenter (Formula One Zine)
Saint James Infimary from Oakland California play a unique blend of
music. They have received some of the most bizzare reviews, victims
of their brand of rock and roll. -And yes -it is rock and roll.
It's driving, and it get's people dancing. Their music comes through
a mix of styles. Many sides of their sound are totally raw and loud,
but they are dynamic. A real blend of harshness and catchiness.
Don't try to pigeon hole them, don't try and stop them.
Saint James Infrimary have been around since August 1996. Not a long
time at, but the first time I saw them, I knew things would happen
quikly. It's been a rocky road for this band. Stealing their name
frOm Uriah Heep's bassist's solo band. They played their first show
in October in Eureka California, choosing an place far far aWay from
their home, Oakland California. Next it was Holloween in Oakland. So
far so good. You see, they were'nt sure about their sound at first,
and needed to test the waters. Luckily, the water was great. Saint
James Infirmary played as many shows as possible for months,
venturing North and even through infamous L.A. territory, where
things went great too. The band was formed by guitarist Jason
Rosenberg of Engage and Glass Babble Radio. He moved from Santa
Rosa, Ca. to Richmond Va. in search of this band. It wasn't until he
got back to the bay area in January 1996 that he would be able to
find the other membershe was looking for. He hooked up with Paul Lee
formaly of Monsula to do the vocals. Together they tried various
rythm sections to no avail. Then they were tipped of to a drummer
from Seattle who was down here looking to get a band going. They met
Eric Alexander from Demspey, Balance Of The World and Ten-O-Seven.
They arranged a practice and needed a bass player right away. Andrew
of Screw 32 fame recommended his roomate Omen Starr, from New Red
Archives' Accustomed To Nothing. The first practice was in Pauls
room, a basement in the house where he and Jason lived. It didn't go
well apparently. The material was strange and new, and Eric felt it
lacked anything resembling music. Eric only practiced a second time
because he did'nt want to bring his drums home that day and was
obligated. For some reason the second pracice went okay. Thus became
the begining of a crazy ride. Two months later found the band
working on a sound that was unique. Something powerfull and loud, it
was straight ahead rock and roll while being completely anti-rock
and roll. Chaos and melody were crashing together. They put out a
four song demo, which later became the 7" EP on Allied Recordings.
hadn't seen a band work so hard, playing as many shows as possible
without getting tired, writing new material, putting out a demo and
record and moving and moving. Then it got rough. Eric ripped a
muscle while they were in L.A. for one of their many trips. Eight
shows were canceled, which totally fucked up all the momentum and
threw a wrench in everything. And when it couldn't get worse, about
a month later while getting back in shape, after a quite normal
practice Paul got his finger slammed in the van door, felt light
headed went for fresh air and passed out on the way out of the van.
He fell on his face. Cement is not the thing you want to slam your
face on. Eight hours later and a long night in the emergency room,
it was realized that the Nothwest/Canadain tour would have to be
cancelled. That night cancelled 17 shows... That hurt the band, and
everyone's motivation. Three months later Paul didn't want a band
anymore. He left the band. It was a rough decision for everyone. It
was a rough decision to keep going. But alas, well worth it. A call
was made by Jason to Baltimore Md. to a Scott Carter. Scott and
Jason had played together in Glass Babble Radio years before.
Needless to say, Scott quit his job, left his apartment and his home
to drive 3,000 miles with his dog and a P.A. in the back of his
truck. Scott had done him time as well on the East Coast playing in
the ingfamous Freak Beans and Glaze Ride. The first practice with
Scott was amazing, things were once again looking up. Many shows
were booked, a Nothwest/Canadian tour, and yet another
L.A./Southwest tour. A record was already scheduled to be released
on Allied Recordings and Frenetic Records. The momentum was without
doubt back again. Scott was thrust into a totally insane time. One
month to practice to learn all the songs. Then leave for Canada.
Come back a record an albumn in a week in San Fransico, while
playing a few local shows. Finish up and get on the road again, to
come back a do another strech of local shows. In fact in October of
1997 Saint James Infirmary plyed 20 shows and recorded for eight
days in a 37 day period. And as you see it's been going quite well.
Yes, dear reader, you too will be slapping yourself
silly for intially dismissiing this band, but you'll come to your
senses when you realize the apparent "toughness" of this albumn is
just spastic genuis in disguise. Very jagged and abrassive inn a
Circus Lupus traditionn, yet occupying it's own creative spac. When,
oh when willI get to experience these sweetly disurbing time
Shredding Material Magazine
Fucking yes! -amazing noisy indie rawk
that truly shines. Damn I cant' wait to heaar more from this band.
This leves me floored.
Saint james infirmary perform such a lighning-fast
invasion upon the unsuspecting audial senses, it reminds me of
German troops during their blietzkrieg advances across the
soon-to-be tattered European landscape in the early stages of WWII.
This is fast, furios, fericiuos and unrelenting like the
swift-as-sound punches of Muhhammad Ali when he was at his
wham-bam-fuck-you, Uncle Sam prime... a dandy of a disc that packs a
throbbing wallop of knock-out, down-for-the-count proportions.
Metalish punk rocketing throught the sound barrier, fueled by
seething anger and tortured torment...infuriated energy boils forth
from this CD like the fiery frenzy of the Tasmanian Devil doin'
Henry Rollins doogy-stye!.. Boy howdy, this is a brain rattler, and
I reccomend it for those of you who relish speedy sonic sounds that
bulge the veins in your neck and pop your eyes right out of their
Suburban Voice Magazine
Saint James Infirmary got their name from a
pre-Uriah Heep band they saw on the back of that group's "Best Of"
albumn. And that like the Heep, they're mighty rockin' but you won't
find any organs here. Just gutar, bass and drums that lash out with
virtolic forcefulness and craved vocals. Using similar tools as
Jesus Lizard or Rye Coalition. Jagged slashing passageways that
convey a dexteruos, as well as fiery musical command. Ispirational
Jersey Beat Magazine
I loved this from the very opening of the first
track "Bullshit Artist" until the final seconds of "Losing Race".
Saint James Infirmary leap out at you with a proggesive raging
records that remains furiosly intense and passionate without
With ex-members of a wide variety of bands, I had
no idea what to expect from this. What I got was a noisy, heavy band
with screamy vocals that probobly wouldn't be out of place on Touch
& Go if they slowed down their pace a little. This band is tight as
hell, and I would really like to check them out live; it's not easy
to explain, but I mean that in a good way.
Held Like Sounds Magazine
A very surprising 7". really good melodic
hardcore/punk with a definate '80s Dischord influence, and that's
always a good thing. I think these guys are one of those
"ex-members" kind of bands, but I never listened to any of their old
bands so this only excites me because it rocks, and I'd certainly
prefer it that way. Four very good songs. I look forward to more
Freedom Of Expression Magazine
Loud, distorted (even the vocals),
angst ridden, Touch and Go influenced as of the late '80s early
'90s. Tension music.
No, not the place that mends Leeds people, the
band. And a trip into this Saint James Infirmary is surely way more
enjoyable (though probobly less comfortable) than a trip to St.
James Infirmary in Leeds. I say unconfortable because the sound is
akin to a cross between edgy hardcore of say, Sparkmarker but with a
deranged side to it, like a lot of Alternative Tentacles band
possess, Dead And Gone to name one. In listening to this record I've
bitten my nails down to the flesh, it's got an uneasiness to it,
it's noisy and scatty and tuneful all at once.
Do you love Jawbox? Now that they're gone, do you
find yourself scratching that burning itch -not with similar,
melodic, East Coast gyrations -but instead with the meatier weight
of hardcore? Me either, but if I did I'd throw myself at the mercy
of Saint James Infirmary. This band is over-the-top power with
jagged rhythms and vocals that sound a little like Scott Weiland...
Features former bassist of Accustomed To Nothing.
This is one of the best releases out of the bay area
scene in a long fucking time. I am truly amazed by the beauty, and
intensity of this four song seven inch. Saint James Infirmary play a
hard edged, pretty basic, Quicksand/Fugazi-ish style. That is a
basic explanation of their style, but I highly recommend hearing
this for yourself. Excitment pours out of me when I hear this. Saint
James seem to be leading the way for a new style of the post
hardcore genre. Ex-members of Monsula and Dempsay rock the house on
this one. An amazing seven inch, and there is a CD coming out soon.