Date: Feb 22, 2021Time: 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Location(s): Freeman Coliseum
Since releasing their last prior album, 2015’s Geronimo, the Austin, Texas, fivepiece have plunged ever deeper into their adventure as a touring band. Hundreds of shows a year in more than 40 different states and on three different continents, including visits to Ireland and Malaysia, have brought them to the 10 stormy tracks that make up Hail Mary, which will be released June 28th.
Now three albums and nearly 10 years into their career, Shane Smith & the Saints are ready to go for broke. “It pretty much summarizes where we are as a band and where I am as an individual after pursuing this for practically the last decade,” Smith says of Hail Mary. “We’re a scrappy group of guys and this is more or less one of those moments where we’re really trying to put it all out there. We’re trying to give it our best shot on this record.”
Recorded at the same hometown studio as Geronimo, Matt Noveskey (of Blue October)’s Orb Recording Studio, Hail Mary was produced by Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, The Killers), marking the first time the band has worked with an outside producer. Inspired by Shane Smith & the Saints’ reputation as a high-energy live act with stunning four-part harmonies, Needham focused on capturing that un-doctored chemistry in the studio.
“A lot of these songs he had us in there with Shure SM58 microphones, live, in front of each one of the guys. He’d be actually using it for the final song rather than going in and overdubbing every single voice, which is a very rare thing,” says Smith of the sessions, which were largely tracked live in the studio. “That gave us a little more confidence hearing him build us up on that whole thing.”
That extra self-assuredness comes through in each of Smith’s roaring vocals and in the band’s stampeding melodies. From the crunching title track to the slow burn of “Oklahoma City” to the triumphant blaze of glory that is “Parliament Smoke,” Hail Mary crosses the gritty, blue-collar storytelling of Bruce Springsteen with the singsong hooks of Mumford & Sons. Most of all, it’s an album with a lot of heart.