By Luke Hirst
Looking all serious and sombre in the accompanying promo pictures, Luke Hirst aka The Saint conjures up the images of windswept mountains, upon which he pours his heart out to a soft rock soundtrack.
Whereas 'Stories To Tell' has a pleasant enough melody and catchy guitar playing, it does tend to stray a bit too far to the middle of the road for my liking. Add to it some wise-before-your-years-sonny lyrics (he's only 16) and his CD gets off to a little bumpy start.
'Changing Lanes' is a melodic stab at the heartfelt anthem, with lyrics about breaking hearts and such. Nice enough song though, but maybe a bit less of the over zealous production would be nice. The cheesy synth strings try to add a bit of depth and sweeping atmospherics, but somehow fall short of their intended aim. Still, his voice, guitar playing and indeed, all the instrumentation are on form.
'Amber' rounds things off, but starts off with an ill advised half talked, half sung intro of "Amber was a girl, she would fight her own fights". Still, apart from the suspect vocal delivery, the song is a fair enough crack at sweeping balladry.
Fair play to Luke Hirst, he's only 16, and he's making records that sound as competent as this one. You can well imagine any track on this 3 track CD being played on FM radio or whatever, and that goes to show that the production of a record is still very important. I'd be lying if I said it was my cup of tea, but The Saint, or Luke or whatever he calls himself can pen a tune, has the voice and has the talent. Just give him a few years and he'll be on top of his game for sure. For a glimpse of what's yet to come, investigate.
Alternative / Punk / Rock