Sainthood Reps
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Sainthood Reps


Band Alternative Rock




"Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

The debut from Sainthood Reps is at times lush and dreamy, at times a full-on barrage of riffs, but always beautifully chord crunching and satisfyingly grungey. Guitarist Derrick is also in Brand New and the sound of BN’s last two albums (and the Long Island scene in general) is certainly recognizable within the Sainthood Reps texture.

However, SR take the quirkier side that Brand New have toyed with in recent years and just run with it. It’s hard to describe Monoculture as anything other than a great rock record, thus it has evaded any pesky “emo” stereotyping where Brand New will forever be plagued by that term and its now-negative connotations.

Monoculture kicks off with serious intent and an absolute belter of a riff that demands to be played loud. The vocals join the fray with an angry swagger which grips you from the get-go. This album is filled to the brim with crushing riffs and crashing drum patterns but there are also moments of sincerely silicate beauty.

‘Hotfoot’ is the perfect representation to both these sides of the band, showcasing both the Jekyll and the Hyde if you will. There’s an insistent and relentless feel throughout this album and even when the quiet beauty surfaces, it’s always accompanied by a menacing undertone where you can’t quite figure out what’s coming next or when the huge guitar riffs are going to come thundering back in.

Parts indie rock, parts grunge and parts something you can’t quite put your finger on, this debut is a wholly satisfying listen. Sure, most of the elements are not totally original, but the way Sainthood Reps have crafted the elements has produced something almost ethereal. This is really an intense yet listenable rock record with both hooks and plenty of intrigue. Hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these guys in the future. - Crossfire

"Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

Long Island has forever been known to have a very eclectic music scene. Bands like Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Blue Oyster Cult to name a few have called this City Island home. And spawning from this breeding ground of diverse artistic genres and cultures comes Sainthood Reps.

Tooth And Nail (or more namely Brandon Ebel) always seems to be able to get amazing bands to sign on to one of his three labels; Tooth & Nail, BEC, and Solid State Records. Sainthood Reps are a very impressive addition. Boasting current touring guitarist for Brand New (Derrick Sherman) and Weed Hounds drummer (Francesco Montesanto), "Monoculture" is a throw back to the 90's alternative sound while keeping one foot securely placed in the more modern side of Indie rock.

Now through out a handful of the tracks, some will notice a blaring resemblence in both progression and feel reminiscent to "The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me/Deja Entendu" era of Brand New. Which I feel is a playful homage to the band more than a blatant rip-off of their sound. But playing guitar for such an amazing band is bound to rub off on anyone, right? "Monoculture" seems to sway from grungey dirty rock to more ambient indie giving the entire album a depressing yet beautiful feel.

I've listened to this album three times and I might just pop in for a fourth if only for the simple fact that each time I listen to it, I find something else about it I dig. I hope you do, too. - Stereo Killer

"Review: Sainthood Reps - "Monoculture""

I really like bands that are a bit weird; bands that, in a conventional sense, just don’t work, but for some reason, sound great to me. Bands like The Chariot, La Dispute, Circle Takes The Square; bands of all genres that are, for whatever reason, are just a touch eccentric. Maybe I appreciate the bravery or the originality, or maybe it’s just because I enjoy things that don’t make sense, things that I’m quite certain I couldn’t have come up with myself. These bands really don’t come around often, primarily because it’s hard to find a group of people that are not only all a bit funky, but odd in a like-minded enough way to come up with something strange, but still coherent. So when I do stumble upon such a thing, I’m always looking forward to checking them out, but I’m never quite sure what to expect, generally speaking, these bands never really reach mainstream status, but the good ones typically have some underground acclaim, and when they are relatively unknown, there could be a very good reason for that. As far as these sort of artistically unique bands, there is a very fine line separating strange and interesting, from just downright strange. So when it came to Sainthood Reps; one of these unconventional bands that was a new discovery to me, I knew things could go either way really, they could be very good and irresistibly interesting, or just kind of too strange to really want to listen to for the length of an average full length. Thankfully, Sainthood Reps are really quite good, and far from unlistenable, it’s more or less just a blend of indie, punk, and grunge, which doesn’t really sound that odd, but in reality, the number of indie-grunge bands out there is fairly limited. So it doesn’t really give Sainthood Reps any direct comparisons, at least not ones that have been active in the past 15 years, anyway.

Their new album Monoculture kicks off with the title track, showcasing their two familiar yet unconventional sounds; the signature sludgy grunge tones that haven’t really been around since Kurt Cobain died, mixed with the rough, pounding hardcore punk style of music that has been around for just as long. The rest of the album creates a sort of pendulum effect, swaying back and forth between the more grungy style, with songs like “Dingus” and “Hunter”, and the heavier, gritter punk songs like “Animal Glue” and “No/Survival”. And as inconsistent and strange as those divergent musical styles sound, the whole album comes together really well; it makes good sense, even though it shouldn’t. Conventionally speaking, this album shouldn’t be this cohesive, the two styles shouldn’t really work together, and this album should split fans between those that favor the grunge songs, and those that favor the punk songs, but I don’t really see that happening, while those styles have never really been married before, it all works together. It doesn’t sound like a split album between two bands of completely different genres, it sounds like a Sainthood Reps album, and that’s it. And that is how the best of all these unique bands are described; they don’t sound like a genre, they don’t sound like another band, they sound like themselves, and not many bands can say that.

All said, with the help of this album, and perhaps a bit more time earning their keep on the road, I could see Sainthood Reps joining the ranks of the other unconventional bands that have reached cult-status among music fans. Even those that aren’t fans of bands of this ilk – which is understandable – seem to still have great amounts of respect for them, and that is most likely because it takes huge amounts of dedication to be in a band like Sainthood Reps, they’re in it for the love of music, not because they’re hoping to top the Billboard charts one day, but because they love music, and make music they believe in. And regardless of personal music tastes, that is a quality to be respected. But fortunately for Sainthood Reps, they are also an undeniably good band, - Under The Gun

"Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

It turns out the 1990s are not dead after all. Or at least, 1990s alternative rock is not dead. Despite grunge-esque groups entering the “classic rock” stage of their existence—if they continue to exist at all—there seems to be a growing number of modern bands tackling the flannel and anti-establishment mantras groups such as Mogwai and Nirvana championed twenty years prior. One such contemporary group is Long Island’s own Sainthood Reps whose debut record, Monoculture, is grunge, mixed with a little ‘90s hardcore, for the emo culture.
After signing with Tooth & Nail Records, Sainthood Reps entered the studio with famed-Long Island producer Mike Sapone (Brand New, Crime In Stereo) to record what would become Monoculture. It is quite evident after listening to the record’s first track, “Animal Glue,” that Sainthood Reps find inspiration from the likes of Brand New and Fugazi. The track starts slowly but builds to a crescendo as lead vocalist Francesco Montesanto’s scratchy yells weave throughout intricate bass and guitar chords in a melodic ballroom dance of sorts. This ballet between bass, guitars, and vocals is a consistent point of enjoyment that helps move Monoculture forward. “DINGUS” is straight out of the Nirvana playbook while “Hunter” brings the aggression to halt with lyrics Jesse Lacey would be proud to call his own.
The problems Sainthood Reps encounter are two-fold. On one hand, there seems to be a disconnect between the general melodic direction the quartet want to head in. Monoculture feels more like a split between two bands versus a cohesive product from one. Tracks such as “Holiday Makers” and “reactor, reactor, reactor, REACTOR!” slowly build anticipation before bellowing into a tirade of fury much like the structure contemporary groups The Republic Of Wolves and Balance & Composure are so found of. Yet, on other tracks, such as the quick hitting “No/Survival” (which clocks in at just over two minutes) and “Monoculture,” the group relies heavily on distorted guitar work and vocals in a barely audible Rage Against The Machine-meets-teen-angst sort of way. This is not to say that this dichotomy is detrimental to the individual tracks—quite the opposite, actually, for “Monoculture” is a barn-burner of a song. It is just that Monoculture lacks a cohesive sound which leads to a choppy listen.
On the other hand, lyrically Monoculture is rather monolithic, following a singular theme revolving around being overburdened and underwhelmed by Western society’s normality. “You parked in your garage and closed the door behind you // And then you turned on the ignition // You opened all your windows wide and closed your eyes…” Montesanto sings on “Holiday Makers,” “There’s a million people just like you, waiting for a way to escape all the stress // You want the quiet life on the company dime // The corporate giant falls and hits the Atlantic.” Monoculture would have been a more satisfying listen if Sainthood Reps explored more diverse lyrical themes rather than sticking with the melancholy anti-establishment rhetoric the record does present. Alas, lyrically the record is not throw-away and shows great promise. What the listener must do is remind himself that Monoculture is Sainthood Reps first full-length record. And as debut records come, Monoculture is auspicious and compelling. -

"Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

Bursting out of Long Island, Tooth & Nail’s newest act, Sainthood Reps, brings the label back to its earlier sounds of bands like Frodus, Blenderhead, Ninety Pound Wuss, and other grunge-inspired, post-hardcore punk rockers. With apparent influences ranging from Fugazi and Smashing Pumpkins to (recent) Brand New and (early) mewithoutYou, Sainthood Reps deliver fuzzy, crunching guitars, pounding bass, and emotionally-charged vocals.

If two words could describe Monoculture, they would be “literary” and “distortion.” “Literary” because even before you dissect the lyrics, you can tell this is a band that puts thought into their words, describing life with depth and poetry. “Distortion” because the whole album is filled with scratchy guitars and other sounds, sometimes even putting effects on the rough vocals.

The opening title track criticizes a world where everything is commercialized and homogenized, and the rest of the record continues to challenge the listener with edgy music and social criticism. Many of the songs speak of tragedy caused by greed or pride, emphasizing with punk rock zeal why we do not want to follow the example of corporate America.

Overall: If you’re looking for music with a little more bite to it, go pick up a copy of Sainthood Reps’ debut, Monoculture. It’s heavy enough that the hardcore kids should be able to enjoy it and melodic enough that indie rockers should have no problem grabbing onto it either. And perhaps most importantly, all you old school Tooth and Nail fans can stop complaining about the label’s new bands, because Sainthood Reps will fulfill your punk rock cravings. - Indie Vision Music


Sainthood Reps are set to release their debut album Monoculture on Tooth & Nail Records on August 9th. A new band I only heard of recently, they caught my attention with their music which is like a blend of the heaviness of Torche and the atmospheric songwriting style like Brand New. On first listen it didn’t really stick, but after a couple times listening to the whole album it really grew on me. The album was produced by Mike Sapone (Brand New, Mansions, and Crime In Stereo).
“Animal Glue” is a really good song that builds up the entire album by giving listeners a soundscape of soft yet standout guitars, soaring vocals, atmospheric drums and noticeable bass to help keep the listener down on earth. The background vocals add so much more to this track and I couldn’t think of listening to it without them. Definitely will go down in my top ten songs of the year. It draws a lot of influence from Mogwai and Fugazi, so if you’re a fan of those bands you will know what to expect.
“DINGUS” is another standout tune. It fools you in the beginning by making you think it’s going to be a full-on rock song, but then turns into ambient territory. The verses on this song are really relaxed and very reminiscent of some of the bands mentioned above. The chorus, however, can be a little bit repetitive after hearing it over and over again.
“Holiday Makers” is a song that should be on Rolling Stone’s list of top 100 songs of the decade. Although it is not on my top of the list, it could very well be for millions of other people. The vocal styles and lush guitar tones make this an instant classic. With drums that make your head sway with the music coupled with that sexy bass, you try turning this track off without letting it finish. About three minutes into the song, it is a little hard to recognize it still being the same song. It cannot be described into words and can only be experienced by listening and judging for yourself.
“Monoculture” is the song that people will either hate or love. I can confirm that this is in fact a track that honestly doesn’t fit in this album, and even more of a mystery is that it was chosen as the single. A single is meant to represent the album and what it entails, but this is not the case. I do like the track, however. The guitars are the instant pull-in (or push out) for the listener. Very catchy and they make it so that if you heard the song ten years from now, you will instantly remember who it is. The bass line is nice and thick, giving it a lot more depth. The drums are set way in the background this time instead of being the underlining sound. The vocals in this song are nice and fuzzy as well.
Not only have these guys referenced their influences directly, they compete with them and (in some instances) upstage those very bands at what they do. If this isn’t somewhere on your top ten of the year, I will only draw the conclusion that you hate yourself for not allowing your ears the pleasure. -

"Review: Sainthood Reps - "Monoculture""

If you’ve ever read Heaven & Hell or quickly screened Kurt Cobain’s journals you’ll know that grunge derives from basic emotions that are often boarded up. These feelings aren’t entirely complicated or intended to be detrimental, they’re just channeled better through distortion and angst. Injected with the characteristics of the pure form of grunge and it’s recent modern take, the debut from Long Island act Sainthood Reps will shake you. The density of tracks and how each one slides into the next with a near flawless tinge flickers with a bit of post-2005 Brand New intensity that’s hard not to salivate for. Monoculture, in its entirety, is stimulating. Why? Its not rehashed garage tones.
“DINGUS” and “Telemarketer” seem skinned from the latter half of In Utero and “Reactor..” recalls cathartic instrumentals that are shades of a certain post-rock group from Austin, but Sainthood Reps’ breed of song structures are entirely their own. “Animal Glue” clicks with lacerating chords that get cinematic in a shoegaze way while “Holiday Makers” does this but swells up at the middle with aggression and Francesco Montesanto’s voice echoing under the racket of Bradley Cordaro’s drum kit. Monoculture’s raw touch may convey Sainthood Reps are all about sacrificing melodies in favor of spastic blowups but the same can’t be said for the band’s taste for crafting words into poems to become hung up on; “Hunter” an atmospheric lighter cut is hard to omit with its sincerity. To the last post-rock strike, the album may not be a precise paradigm of its influences, but the fact it’s pretty damn close is enough to surrender to.
Download: “Holiday Makers”, “Animal Glue” - Blare Magazine

"Album Review: Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

For every kid born in the 90s, rejoice! Grunge is not quite dead yet. However, Tamagotchis still thankfully remain buried forever in the depths of time. As title track "Monoculture" stampedes against both ears, riding on a wave of distortion and crashing cymbals, it's clear that Sainthood Reps bring forth a clarified definition of grunge, back to the good ol' days. "DINGUS" gives off a gauzy guitar riff paired up alongside vocalist Francesco Montesanto's vague lyricism, proclaiming in the bridge, "No one's underneath the world / I lift the planet on my shoulders" before the onslaught of the chorus where he heralds "Wait, who do you think you are?".

Despite Sainthood Reps' relentless energy in a large portion of their output, the counteracted quiet in tracks such as the unexpected ballad, "Hunter" and the overwhelming build up of "reactor...", showcase an unexpected change of dynamic for the band, offering to us a calmer side to Sainthood Reps. Grown out of a shared love of music, "Monoculture" marries the grunge aesthetic of albums like "In Utero" and "Daisy" with insightful lyrics reflecting on every day life in the USA (Monoculture being a word guitarist, Derrick Sherman, derived from a farming technique called "mono-cropping"). "Monoculture" is a cohesive album made out of pure love for the genre, there is a rawness and pure angst heard consecutively in each track. The grunge formula is laced throughout and you know what they say: 'If it ain't broke, why fix it?'


George Gadd

'Monoculture' is out August 9th on Tooth and Nail Records. - Alter The Press

"Sainthood Reps - Monoculture"

As much as I've been excited about the return (for a lack of a better word) of the great hardcore and post-hardcore that I grew up with throughout high school and college, there's also a good number of bands harnessing a sense of great "rock music" again - with the great alternative underbelly I clung to early while making mixtapes from the radio in grade school. Now bands like Nirvana, Pavement, Built to Spill, Far, and HUM are still resonating years later with their lush guitar tones and bold, atmospheric styling some of us missed the boat on. Yeah, you were really into that, weren't you? Even better, there is a group of bands standing out amongst the rest for revitalizing and creating their own allusion to those days. One band's debut sticks out the most among the rest this year.

Monoculture relies heavily on distorted guitars worthy of a practice garage and bass tones that are blatantly thick during the most downtrodden of times. Sainthood Reps' debut not only stands as a throwback to the rock (both underground and alternative radio hits) that many of us older music fans grew up with, but it might just shake a newer generation into listening to a another palette of music before their back-cataloged time. As "Hunter" sits as the mid-album, slow-inching ballad opposite the title track's blasting opener, most of the tracks on Monoculture combine the moods of each songs' polar ends. "DINGUS" sounds like a BUZZCUT b-side, while "Hotfoot" rhythmically attracts through and through. "reactor, reactor, reactor, REACTOR!" has post-rock tendencies worthy of the band's My Bloody Valentine influence, but it flushes out all its own.

Lyrically, the aforementioned song is quite repetitive. If there is one flaw to the depth of Monoculture, it is its lyrical prowess. There's nothing in the words, excluding a few songs, that will bring you back. Instead it's how the short writings are weaved and layered throughout the instruments' frequencies, and it works perfectly on the best tracks of the album. "Animal Glue" is a trigger of aggression and shoegazing juggled back and forth until its violent end. "Holiday Makers" is a drugged version of the former, fleeting out its ending in a verbal round of repetition. What Sainthood Reps excel at on their debut is the way the songs completely let you sink into the tones at their most melodic moments.

The band has crafted a sleeper hit this year. The reason I say sleeper is because some people will immediately reference the band as "that guy who tours with Brand New," but Monoculture is more than that. With the slow blooming "Widow" to close things out - easily the album's standout - there are hints of Built to Spill's well cherished back catalog. The layering, crescendoing and uneasy feeling of the whole thing is just magnificent, and might be one of the best closers of the year. Sainthood Reps not only attempted to reference the music that led them to pick up an instrument, they're succeeding in recreating their rooted allusions for the next generation to explore. -


- "Monoculture" (2011)



If someone happens to listen to or see Sainthood Reps and makes the decision to pick up an instrument, the band would consider this a mission accomplished. After all, that's how they got their start - inspired by the Long Island hardcore, punk and indie bands they grew up seeing.

Such inspiration eventually led Francesco Montesanto to create and record four demos and show them to his longtime musical companion, guitarist Derrick Sherman. Knowing that he was unrefined, Montesanto hoped to entice Sherman into joining his musical endeavor because of his experience and similar musical interests, and thought he could turn his project into something worth pursuing more seriously.

"Eventually, I decided to start writing my own songs and showed them to Derrick, hoping to coax him into starting a real project with me," says Montesanto of the earliest stages of the band. "After he obliged and took a more prominent role, we decided to take the next step and round out our project."

And in the frigid winter of 2009, Montesanto and Sherman joined by Bradley Cordaro and Jani Zubkovs, picked up their collective instruments, plugged them in, and made noise together for the first time; thus Sainthood Reps was born.

Their goal was simple. They shared many favorite bands such as Mogwai, Fugazi, Explosions in the Sky, Sunny Day Real Estate, Modest Mouse, Jesus Lizard, and Built to Spill, and wanted to form a band that was influenced by those bands in every aspect, from live performance to studio recordings and everything in between.

After just a handful of practices, they packed up their van and delved into an unseasonably warm Midwestern winter to play their debut show as a band in Detroit, kicking off a tour with All The Day Holiday. The band quickly hit the road again just three days into 2010 with Caspian, refining their sound as well as their personal relationships with one another. Another tour followed in the summer of 2010 with the Felix Culpa, along with constant short tours with Long Island friends The Sleeping, and Philadelphia friends Balance and Composure.

"A buzz started to build around our energetic live show," says Sherman. "We focus on a wall of sound from our guitars and amps; producing jagged, uneasy, sometimes harsh distortion and fuzz sounds akin to the 90's bands that we love to listen to."

But as much as they are influenced by those early 90’s post-hardcore and contemporary post-rock, they are also influenced by other artistic avenues, and much of the lyrical content of is derived from historical perspective gathered via films and books rather than personal experience. "We usually like to take our personal experiences in our lives and sort of retell them through the scope of historical events and societal problems rather than autobiographically," Montesanto explains.

As 2010 drew to a close, the band partnered with Tooth & Nail Records to begin working on their debut full-length, "Monoculture" produced by Long Islander Mike Sapone (Brand New, Crime in Stereo, The Xcerts) available in stores and online now.