Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I love this band, but I'll have it admit, much like scotch to the novice drinker, it's an acquired taste. St. Christopher is one only a handful of pop bands who has always remained genuinely fresh (and often eccentric to the point of being considered obtuse in terms of musical composition). It goes without saying that they were one of the more experimental groups in the Sarah canon, and in the indie-pop genre in general. Efflorescent, pointillistic melodies swing hand in hand with Glenn Melia's clearly audible voice that sounds like it's being channeled through an elongated tube, creating an echoing effect of resonance that has become a St. Christopher trademark quality.
It's interesting how few influences you can find in Melia's songs; it's like looking for a needle in a haystack(Okay "She Looks Like You" of Lioness sounds a little like a Pulp song, but aside from that its all pretty anomalous. This rare originality is something that may turn some listeners off because although its unmistakeably pop, it's so unlike the usual power chord pop formula. Lyrically Melia sings about being in love and likewise being loveless, much like his Sarah labelmates. Melia was at his prime with early Sarah singleS such as You Deserve More Than a Maybe, All of a Tremble, and Say Yes to Everything, along with his fantastic debut album Bacharach. So if you're unacquainted with the band, start with the aforementioned releases and branch out from there. If you go in with an open you ear, not only will you not be disappointed, but you'll be surprised at how much St. Christopher's sound will grow on you.
You Deserve More Than a Maybe (single, 1989)
All of a Tremble (single, 1989)
Say Yes to Everything (1991)
Bacharach LP (1990)
Lioness LP (1996)
Lost at Sea (The Sarah Recordings) (compilation, 2007)