The quintet's love for the Rolling Stones is paramount: familiar hits are assayed but so are less well-known album cuts (even alternate versions, thus the cover-of-a-cover of the Stones' U.K. recording of ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’); the Monkees, the Beatles, the Paul Butterfield Band, Jimi Hendrix and Moby Grape (courtesy of a great rip through ‘Omaha’) all pop up.
Sound quality varies from the just-above-muddy-bootleg to reasonably clear, especially given the rough and ready equipment used. Unburdened by nostalgia: at the time, after all, the band were tackling what was new and exciting for them there and then. And whatever thoughts parents and teachers might have had about the five teens at the time, now it just sounds like what it was—kids having a blast coupled with their desire to do it as well as they could.
Eric Bergman, leader of the Patron Saints over the years, is clearly having fun with this archival release.
But a serious fun, as his extensive liner notes describe, with two discs covering the many years' worth of the group as an enthusiastic bunch of teenagers out to be the local heroes in their hometown and the surrounding area.
It's the story of heaven knows how many singers and bands over the past decades. Bergman tells tales song for song, detailing everything from lyrics misheard on cheap record players to attempts to re-create studio sounds live as best as possible (or even to make the arrangements better, or at least different), hold as much interest as the music -- arguably more! It makes for a great document of a time and place. There's almost no repetition of any songs, while what's on display shows the band's own interests and inspirations more readily than a simple list could.