Filed under: Sensational Saints
While trying to determine the site of the Sensational Saints cover photo, understated collector and Cleveland native Cameron Kowall confessed, “Cool you guys are issuing that. That’s probably the best gospel LP from these parts.” With the Sensational Saints’ sanctified LP going on sale Tuesday, I asked Cameron to explain what makes the Sensational Saints so sensational.
“One trip through midtown Cleveland and the tremendous output of gospel music here seems much more reasonable. Storefront congregations abound in this decrepit, once-thriving area. And out of the hundreds of local gospel albums I’ve auditioned from the era, not more than a few stick out as certified Cleveland essentials.
The most accessible and genre defying among them—The Sensational Saints’ You Won’t Believe It. Raw grooves provide instant appeal and a fresh platform for the vocal quartet’s channelled wanderings. The lead vocals of Melvin Kennibrew echo through murky harmonies and wah pedal before piercing the sound stage with bursts of faith. The band plays on, possessed by this transcendent gospel jam, ceasing only once a message is delivered. Kennibrew strips secular tunes of their meaning and rebuilds them with vocal group expanse and lyric fit for a young gospel seeker. The resulting album flows in a bit of a haze—introspective and heartfelt—never straying from its religious bloodline or underground sound.”