The Borderline Saints
Anger Management

1. Different kind
2. Straitjackets & the usual medication (Beau Hill remix)
3. When I'm dead
4. Hindenburg
5. Desperation
6. Heavy burden
7. Break of Dan
8. Cheers
9. Lady
10. Cruel world
11. U suicide me
12. Note to home
13. Collateral damage
14. Straitjackets & the usual medication (album version)

Andreas Centervall (Guitar)
Dennis Petersson (Vocals)
Emanuel Svensson (Bass)
Jimmy Ferhm (Vocals & scream vocals)
Alexander Platon (Keyboards)
Mattias Breivald (Guitar & scream Vocals)
Jonas Andersson (Drums)

F60-F69 (2011)
Straitjackets And The Usual Medication (EP 2012)

Tor Bratt - drums on all tracks
Cecilia Petersson - backing vocals on Cheers, Hindenburg & Note to home


All songs written by The Borderline Saints
All songs mixed and mastered at Sonart
Gabriel Lundh - Artwork

Released 2013-10-30
Reviewed 2013-11-15



under the bridges since seems to have been somewhat red considering how this album doesn't have the same cheerful attitude at all and lots of it feels unnecessary seriously instead.

Before I go any further, I'm going to explain why 'Anger Management' gets a lower score than the EP despite it being quite a lot better. However, there are other factors that makes the score is lower - everything isn't always about how many H you get and before I round up this review I've said many positive things about The Borderline Saints. And I can tell you right away that I think this band has great potential. I do not know the exact age on the members, but I believe they'll have plenty of future to develop in and if they manage to solve the problems that lower the score on this occasion I also believe that the future will reward them.

Anyhow, which are the factors that make the score lower this time? We'll start with the biggest factor - the sound quality. On a four track EP like 'Straitjackets & The Usual Medication' it's much easier to forgive the sound for not being perfect than what it is on a full length album. At least for me. This is partly because it's longer and you have to listen to it longer and partly because this should be the real deal. The serious performance and the serious presentation of the band. A demo EP, which is how I consider 'Straitjackets & The Usual Medication', can have some flaws - it's forgivable. After all, is not "the real deal" and something most bands release to get that crucial feedback they need for the album. The album, however, should be the full package. It's the band's presentation of themselves and 20 years on in the future the band should be able to look back on the album and don't feel ashamed of it. Sure, you would think that a band 20 years in to their career is much better musicians than they were at the beginning and still feel that these early releases are something of garbage in comparison to what they're (hypothetical) able produce then but it doesn't justify leaving shortcomings in the production. The sound should always be brilliant and perfect, at least as good as it's possible. If you can't do that on your own you should hire someone to make sure that you get that - at any cost! The Borderline Saints attitude is that they would rather do things themselves than as good as possible, which is admirable - it reminds me of our attitude here at Hallowed actually. But if they want the best results possible they should (just like we should, I suppose) think about doing things differently.

So, the sound isn't perfect, but such a thing is possible to correct with re-releases and re-masters. And when it comes to live shows it doesn't matter what sound they have on the album, so let's move on. Let's look at the songs. Well, we get three songs from 'Straitjackets & The Usual Medication' on this album, all except Better Man, as well as 10 new tracks. The title track from the EP is recorded twice, once as what they call the "album version " and once as a "Beau Hill remix". The song that didn't make it to the album was one my two favorites on the EP and of course it's a pity that it didn't make it here but I think the two songs that I felt was less attractive on the EP has been given a facelift more than enough for the album. The best track is still Cheers in my book, which is a song that is guaranteed to get your party going and the dance floor full whilst the rest of them are slightly heavier songs that just don't have that charisma. And with heavier, I mean heavier of heart. Lady e.g. is a very heavy song, in substance, that definitely won't make anyone happier. However, it is a good song, beautiful in its own way, and a welcome feature in my eyes. The only song, alongside Cheers, which I think has that joy I appreciated so much with the EP is Note To Home, a track 12 of 14. And if you look at the song titles the feeling that the band hasn't had clear water rippling over its bridges this past year gets even stronger. The content on 'Anger Management' feels heavy and deep, and as the album title really reflects their inner feelings.

Is the album bad for being dark then? Personally I don't think so. There are no major faults with the material and most of the songs are good by themselves. The playing time at 46 minutes doesn't feel like it's too much either. 14 tracks are perhaps in the upper regions though, but you can live that as well in my eyes. It's worse with the sound quality. 46 minutes of this sound quality feels like it's pressing the limits and had it not been for the high class of the songs I would probably turn the album off prematurely more times than listening to the end. But that's not the case now. The individual musical performances is unfortunately a bit difficult to judge in some of the songs because the sound just melt together in to a big mush, but there are tracks that sound is a bit better where I can't hear any obvious shortcomings in their work. However, I think the drums are a bit weak while the guitars gets my golden star and the other are good but not excelling.

The homework for the band is to start working for money so they can afford to hire someone to do the sound for them, at least they should if this is the best they can do themselves. Can they do it better, I think they should! This gritty, unpolished sound that melts together and never really reach your soul does not fit the band. They should have a cleaner, clearer and more powerful sound. And I miss the joy of playing from the EP, and I miss some sound quality (to repeat myself), but as a the whole, 'Anger Management' is a good album.



Label: Rambo Music
Three similar bands: Dia Psalma/Rush/Blink 182
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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