Tegan and Sara

posted by dpm on 01/20/2010

Tegan and Sara Sainthood
Review by Chris Duca
            If you think I’m going to let some joey feign some ridiculous opinion that these Canadian twin sisters are more suited as a headliner for some barefoot femi-nazi concert on the lawn, then you better keep your chin up and one eye open when you’re sleeping. Though Tegan and Sara Quin have vowed to sing about love and relationships until the end of time, they—not I—will, undoubtedly, kick your ass. 
            Sainthood, the sixth studio album by the 10-year music-making veterans—and identical twins—Tegan and Sara, crashes headfirst—punk rock flags outrageously ablaze—into the very essence of what makes all of us tick: the pursuit of fitting in, falling in love, and making a lasting impression. Subjects that were once reserved for lovelorn songstresses and billowy AM Gold soft rock, now don tattoos, clenched teeth and irrepressibly muscular bass riffs. And with the addition of ace indie-rock producer and mastermind, Chris Walla, Tegan and Sara deliver melodies so egregious and decisive that I was left sprawled out on my crashpad in awe of what I had just listened to. 
            Though the twins often harmonize note-for-note, each has a defining set of quirky oral idiosyncrasies that often creates a humming, pixie-like three-dimensionality to their each one of their vocal arrangements. “Arrow”, the lead track on Sainthood, shimmers with sharp poignancy like frozen daggers in the wake of their previous five albums. “Red Belt”'s ardent passion, and their first radio single, “Hell”, nonchalantly shrugs off any doubt that the sisters Quin had lost any steam since their last, and much lauded LP, The Con. “Alligator Tears”, a soulful effusion of slick, sophisticated music and lyrics; and the fleeting, honey-coated “The Ocean”, add a solid foundation for which the remainder of the album can work its undeviating sorcery. 
            I think,..check that,...I know you'll enjoy the latest labor of love from Tegan and Sara. Each nuance Sainthood directs will evenly consume you on early morning hikes along the base of your favorite crag. And it will spark an eleventh-hour dose of fresh, simple existence on a late afternoon jaunt up your favorite multi-pitch classic. If you like these 13 haunting quests for love's understanding, you'll equally dig The Con, and So Jealous, two earlier LPs by the passionate Calgary, Alberta natives.