Already the band description sounds interesting: the Saint City Orchestra is a Swissfolk-punk band. Active since 2013, they release their second studio album Unified on 17th September 2021. Here is my review.
Saint City Orchestra – About The Artists
Saint City Orchestra is a band from St. Gallen in East Switzerland. The band was rather a random product. Sandro Schmid, lead of the band and nowadays singer, guitarist and tambourine player, accepted to play at a local Irish rock night without having a band. This lead to the lineup with Mäsi Eigenmann (guitar, cajon, mandoline, bass drum), Jerome Graf (electric bass and contrabass) and Gabriel Eschenmoser (accordion). The Swiss mix Irish folk with punk and rock elements. After initially being active with cover songs, they released their debut album Chaos in 2018. The album made it to the 22nd spot in the national album charts.
Saint City Orchestra – Unified – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 41 minutes.
1. To Your Honour
Honestly, I first listened to Unified before I read any bio about the Swiss band. Thus, without having any idea what kind of music they are making, I just cannot deny that there was this “What The Fuck”-moment, when I started to listen to To Your Honour. Luckily, it just took a small bunch of seconds until “WTF” turned into “It’s actually really cool”. A song, which I would describe as a cheerful shanty rocker with some punk elements. Unique – and good!
2. Hey Roar You Bastards
Sandro Schmid is almost acting like a storyteller in the verses – while the chorus of Hey Roar You Bastards is a really powerful rocker after the swaying touch of the Irish folk style melodies. Really nice contrast – even the slightly accented vocals somehow feel to fit to that kind of sound.
There is nothing to say, there is nothing to say why I am so mad. The band does not really take all their music too seriously, which you beautifully see in lyrics like this. The title track comes with an uptempo sound and a lot of potential to sing along with the band. Cool song.
4. Suicide Bobby
Suicide Bobby concludes the opening set of four songs, which have been released before the album. It is my favorite. I feel it is really catching, I love the contrast between the rather slow parts and the speedy, energizing parts. Songs like this are just made for the stage and to have fun with your music.
5. Chaos In My Brain
The first “new” song is just combining the elements you had in the songs before: the catching character of Irish folk just fits nicely to the speedy rock sound of the St. Gallen. On top of that they just arrange their songs in a way that people can perfectly interact with them on live shows. It is a very nice song as a recorded one – but I imagine it is a blast in concert.
This sixth song almost is the “tiny and nice” song. Again, a very uplifting one, which makes you move to the music. Not as loud and rocking as other songs on the album, though.
7. Fragile And Pure
Fragile And Pure feels like a ballad on this song. A track perfectly made to hold your friends in your arm (or a friend a beer…) and sway and growl to the music. Just as the Schmid does on the microphone. With or without a beer. Entertaining and fun.
8. Small World
Small World starts with guitar riffs and violin songs. Thereafter, the guitars are doing their rhythm like in a metal song – just a little bit more decent and quiet. This is Irish folk made in Switzerland, two rather modest kind of people. The result is surprisingly energetic – and melodic.
9. The Master And The Fool
The Master And The Fool is a song which majorly is defined by its storytelling – even though there are the typical sing-a-long parts at the end of the track.
10. Wrong Side Of The Track
The tenth song is one of my favorites. Not as loud as other songs on the album – but a nice vibe and sound. Just a good one to listen to.
11. A Toast 2.0
The last two tracks feel to be some sort of re-recorded bonus tracks – at least I found significantly earlier recordings of them. The song is about the band itself. A song introducing people to Saint City Orchestra – but also to have a lot of fun with their music. I enjoy it, definitely.
12. Saint City My Pride 2.0
Last but not least, the band’s unofficial anthem about their home town. Had to think a lot about so many country songs who do the same thing – I definitely give this way of praising Sankt Gallen a bit smile. Cool finish of the album.
Saint City Orchestra – Unified – Spotify
Here is Unified on Spotify:
Saint City Orchestra – Unified – My View
Give this album a try – it really made me smile while listening. Or – even better – go to a show of these guys when they are in town. I never saw them live on stage, but Unified is already a proof that this has to be a lot of fun. Great album with a very nice fusion of Irish folk, rock and party music. Cheers to the Saint City Orchestra! Top Pick! – even though some songs are a bit of similar.