Saint Mars is perhaps the greatest up and coming alternative rock band to come out of the U.K. for some time (one might say even out of the whole European Union, but…) This wonderful bridging of talent from either side of the channel creates a sophisticated, and surreal epic about the troubles of youth; an apt theme for a band just readying to pass its infancy, and is vulnerable to like experiences. Taking on bullying as a theme is certainly no new endeavour, but to couch it in a melange of modern music, bolstered by the Baroque…Saint Mars has a honed edge in their cutting new EP, ’Ocean Blues‘.
As one who rails on and on about thinly mixed, and muffled vocals, it is a breath of fresh air to find clarity in the fantastically French-accented vocals of lead singer Marc Darcange. Yes the vocals share that same ridiculously “Shoe Gaze” style that is so unfortunately prevalent once again, with its fairly thin mixing, but the well sung Darcange cuts through the ambient noise and, even whilst staring at his shoes (perhaps even with a villainous pig mask on) can be heard far more clearly than the grand swath of similarly-styled music.
The most alternatively unfortunate aspect of this new EP is that it consists of only four tracks. There is no doubt that the titular track of ‘Ocean Blues‘ is the front runner on this EP, as it is so fully complete: capturing a certain degree of torment recognizable by any who have been bullied or abused in their youth (for whatever reason, or lack thereof).
‘Boys Never Cry‘ (going in order to the next best track) sees that aforementioned meeting of modern music and the Baroque. There is something magical about this Bristol-based band pulling influence from ages past. One feels some sort of ethereal connection between the two ancient countries of France and England as they, in their youth, really begin to take off during the Baroque period (an interesting sort of parallel between those two countries, and this new band; music the global connection between us all).