Scotty Saints and the True Believers
Bands’ press materials are usually branding exercises spun to make the group seem like they’re the future of music as we know it. But when I read the Spotify bio for Portland punkers Scotty Saints and the True Believers, I was struck by its utter disinterest in making the group sound like the next big thing. “Remember when Epitaph was a punk label,” it reads, “when Warped Tour owned the summer? That’s where our hearts live.” This trio has no delusions about who they are, which gives them the freedom to do what they do best: make high-energy, hook-drenched, blue-collar ’90s rock. On their new EP, Damaged Heart, we get a satisfying dose of their no-nonsense, wallet-chain-rattling aesthetic, which was honed to a sharp edge by Scotty’s former band, Port City Saints. Over six tracks, this group showcases their abiding love for sweeping “whooooa-oh” choruses made for sweating and yelling and feeling like you could leap into the sky and mosh with the moon. “I’m a true believer / when I believe in me,” goes the refrain to the song from which the band takes its name. Taking pride in being your authentic self? I can’t think of anything more punk rock than that.