The Despair Collective – “Saints To Sinners”

 The Despair Collective – “Saints To Sinners”

The Despair Collective – “Saints To Sinners” – Single Review

Well…y’all come here for my honesty.  Probably best to buckle up.

I’ve got concerns for The Despair Collective!

On the positive side of this scenario, none of what I’m worried about revolves around the effort they put into their music or the professionalism they possess as a band, and that’s really been a constant from the first days I started listening to them way back in early 2021.  To be completely fair to me, I’ve heard less than a handful of tunes from The Despair Collective, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what kind of band they really wanna be.  Part of me suspects that they’re going through the same struggle.  When I listened to their single “Your Say” from three years ago, it was clear they had the chops to make an impact on listeners through their musicianship, and the level of dedication you wanna find on the inside of a recording.  Was it suited to my personal taste?  I mean…Evanescence came up…so…no, not really – but I do respect those out there that put the work into what they do, and I’m still convinced to this very day that The Despair Collective has absolutely no problem at all doing what has to be done in order to keep your entertained as best they can.  They more or less confirmed that with a stellar cover of covering an early Stone Temple Pilots track called “Crackerman” that they released towards the end of 2022, which managed to perfectly straddle the line between being faithful to the original song, while also bringing their own vibe to it as well.  It ain’t easy to create a killer cover, but they pulled it off nicely.

I am a little worried that The Despair Collective is putting a whole lot of weight on their brand-new single, “Saints To Sinners.”  From what I’ve gathered, they’re somewhat looking to use this song as the ol’ proverbial line drawn in the sand, separating what they’ve done in the past, and reintroducing themselves to the world.  I’m not saying that we can’t all use a reboot here and there every once in a while, but what concerns me is that while this might be a new step in the direction of The Despair Collective, it’s really not in the broader context of what the world has already heard in some way, shape, or form.  The musicianship of all members concerned remains top-notch…you can hear them bringing the fire to “Saints To Sinners” collectively, and regardless of what I, or anyone, might have to say, they have to remember that that’s all you can ever do as artists.  You put yourself into the moment and hope it gets received by listening ears with the same enthusiasm you bring to making it.  Those out there that play instruments themselves will certainly appreciate the precision work that Mike Longo brings to the guitars you’ll hear and how the skill he adds to “Saints To Sinners” is on display immediately.  Dana Fogle holds down the rest of what you’ll hear competently…the bass, synths, and arrangement all sound solid throughout the distance of this track from start to finish.  Singer Carolina Padron is basically out of this world talented, even if the kind of vocals she adds to The Despair Collective ain’t really my thing…my opinion is only that when it comes to personal taste – I know tons of people that love the sound she has.

Overall, The Despair Collective is drifting back towards the sound I first heard them with…that whole gigantic, bombastic, cinematic universe of BIG BIG sound – and if that’s something YOU love, I ain’t gonna be the guy to tell you to do anything otherwise.  Turn it up!  What we like is what we like, simple and plain.  You can practically see the fire & the flames & the trapeze artists & the sword swallowers in your mind as you listen…a song like this can often get used for its intensity on some kind of talent show performance, and rightly so in that regard – it’s dramatic and there’s no question about that.  Where my main concerns lie are in the strength of the material itself & whether or not it’s going to be memorable enough…I’m not so convinced that The Despair Collective is where they need to be at in order to stand out apart from the rest and not drown in the sea of sameness with a song like “Saints To Sinners.”

That’s my take on it right now…I’m not saying that I’m completely right, or that I’m the only opinion that matters…I’m comfortable with time telling the ultimate story when it comes to anything I ever have to say.  And don’t get me wrong – it’s a freakin’ twisted world that we’re living in where you can give 110% to a song or a performance and still fall a mile short of where you might want it to go…effort like The Despair Collective is putting in deserves to be recognized, regardless of how you might feel about the song itself.  It sounds good…the production and the playing is all perfectly in-line and possesses an inspired degree of focus – they’re clearly professionals that are all extremely well-versed in what they do and they each bring something essential to a performance like this.  As it stands, it’s just the strength of the material itself, which somewhat pales in comparison to how they perform it, you know what I mean?  They’re taking a fairly average tune and making it sound larger than life, which is definitely an accomplishment in its own right, but I’m not sure that’s really what they’re going for in the long run.

I’m advising caution here y’all…temper expectations for what a song like “Saints To Sinners” is really going to end up representing for The Despair Collective.  I’m of the opinion that it’s still not the reset that they might want it to be, and still a somewhat logical extension of what they’ve already done.  Lots of positives for them to work with here without a doubt – they’ve got the right players, they’ve got an absolutely amazing singer, and they’ve clearly got the desire to create the best entertainment they’re capable of, for you to enjoy.  I’ve heard a preview of an upcoming song called “Breathe Again,” which I feel like comes out a little stronger for The Despair Collective, but I’d still admit that even that next cut still sounds like they’re fighting with themselves a little in regards to creating content that they’re going to be remembered for.  There’s certainly no shame in creating songs that are essentially flawless, which is what they’ve got in both “Saints To Sinners” and in “Breathe Again” as well – but we’re living in a world where it’s seriously tough to stand out in the crowd, and I think The Despair Collective still has a lot of work to do in order to take the incredible pieces they have individually & find that groundbreaking song that defines their own sound & says something in a way that only they can as a band united as one.

“Saints To Sinners” arrives online officially this May 31st – make sure to find out more about The Despair Collective by visiting their official website at:

DO NOT READ THIS MESSAGE unless you want to know how you could be the next up on our pages at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!


"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."

Send this to a friend