February 29, 2024

Waste a Saint is a Norwegian band from Trondheim that plays melodic fuzz rock with psychedelic touches. Their sound has been compared to bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, The Dead Weather and Spiders, alternative rock from the nineties and fuzzed bands from the late sixties….and I’m going to throw in a touch of Siouxsie Sue as well! 

Waste a Saint Line-up:
Bogey Stefansdottir – Vocals
Alexander Skomakerstuen – Guitars
Ole Nogva – Bass
Øivind Fossem – Drums

After the release of their debut album Hypercarnivore (All Good Clean Records – 2022), the band went on a mega-tour around Norway and Sweden, working up quite a local following in the process. In June 2023, Waste a Saint entered the Sørgården studio to record their second album Ravenous with Per Borten from Spidergawd sitting behind the recording console. Ravenous essentially picks up their debut Hypercarnivore left off, presenting the characteristic sound Waste a Saint has created over the years and showcases their ability to meld genres. With a foundation of melodic stoner rock, singable choruses and catchy guitar riffs, the band incorporates elements from metal, blues and kraut rock throughout the album’s eight tracks.

The opening track Schizofriendia sets out the band’s stall, very Uncle Acid, very tuneful without ripping up too many musical boundaries. A nicely tight rhythm section underpins Alexander’s meaty guitar work, and Bogey’s vocals are really strong – putting down a solid marker.

Sore Spot is a more poppy sort of three-chord thrash in the choruses, albeit led by a nicely up-front and hypnotic guitar line. Very catchy, very QOTSA, very radio-friendly – I like it! “We blow punk rock a kiss from the bar stool in our newest single ‘Sore Spot’. Albeit, we still seems to remain in a long term relationship with the stoner-era. ‘Sore Spot’ is a heavy song, mentally and physically – it’s an energy bomb veiled with lyrics about ruined relationships and break-ups“.

C.M.T.L. is another QOTSA-styled number, thoroughly energetic, LOTSA fun! Again, it’s not the most inventive song in the book but its completely engaging, 100% good-time Scandi-rock and over before you’ve had time to rip the top off a tinnie (not in the very daft video below, mind!) Still no idea what the title refers to either! Femme Fatale returns us to more fuzzed Stoner territory but stays faithful to their tastefully tuneful tendencies. Actually the change of pace in this one is particularly effective at making the track a more reflective take on life. It’s good.

Dryads is an edgy yet harmonic track – whatever these guys play there’s always a strong melody enshrined in there. And at the heart of that are the wonderful vocals of Bogey Stefansdottir – strong, impassioned but always clear-cut and in control, never drowned in the fuzz. Avoid My Wits starts off in a bluesy mood, at over six minutes this one is considerably longer than anything else on the album. I love the warbly tone of Alexander’s guitarwork here, the whole thing has a hint of Siouxsie and the Banshees about it in the jaggedy, spacey, swirling, cinematic post-punk feel of it. A great track!

Broadside (Their Simultaneous Discharge) has another nicely blended distorted but melodic chord-line, some clever synth work together with another strong chorus that could be Siouxsie, a real compliment. It had been bugging me who Bogey’s voice reminded me of, and with Siouxsie in my head it all strongly fits! The set is rounded off with Aeronaut, more clever interplay of fuzzed and clean, almost bluesy guitars. There’s a heavyweight riff comes in, it still never submerges the vocals, there’s still an almost anthemic feel to the choruses. At this point it worth stating that for all the fuzzed guitar work – which is fine – the sound and the mix never lose their clarity, credit to the backroom crew. The production on the whole album is really top-notch!

Ravenous is clearly the signature sound of Waste a Saint, based on a foundation of melodic stoner rock as mentioned above, aided and abetted by catchy guitar work and hugely singable choruses. A strong entry in the Scandi-rock School Of Fame, it’s well worth a listen.