The long wait is over. California's Saosin issued their debut EP Translating the Name in 2003. They already had a well-developed fan base for their unique, even enigmatic brand of post-hardcore screamo. The band, having undergone some personnel changes -- most notably singer Anthony Green's departure in 2004 and the enlisting of Cove Reber as his replacement -- also underwent a sonic change on their self-titled 2005 EP. That primer was a guidebook to the band's new sound. Their Capitol debut, produced by Howard Benson, who also plays keyboards and does minimal programming, is a much slicker and far more imaginative outing than the band's underground fans may appreciate. That's not to say it's not impressive. It is. Quite so. This quintet are fine songwriters, excellent musicians, and have actually taken their post-underground hardcore beginnings and turned them into something that may indeed further rock music itself. This is not an idle claim. The songs on this album are tight, finished, and full of unexpected twists and turns, varied dynamics, fine lyrics, and, most of all, they're surprising. The hard twin-guitar sound at the front drives a rhythm section that is always in the pocket. Justin Shekoski and Beau Burchell work symbiotically with one another. They twin riffs and single lines without ever devolving into guitar heroics. They play as a unit. Reber's beautiful high-pitched voice walks the line but never resorts to screaming, because he doesn't have to: his instrument is powerful enough to ride the top of the musical swirl. The rhythm section carries the cradle of all this innovation, never slipping or abandoning these songs to mere workmanship. Check the killer counterpoint leads on "Follow and Feel," and how drummer Alex Rodriguez takes the beat to the band inside the tune. When Reber enters with "Don't let them know you're watching their situation crumble..." his lyric is one of dislocation and the futile attempt to understand distance and dissolution. The killer, all-out rock riff in "It's So Simple" is beguiling as the song's dynamics and pace change three times inside of four minutes. That's the other beauty of this record; all but one track are under four minutes. The album flows from top to bottom; songs bleed into one another yet keep their distinctive identities. It's a strange comparison, but Saosin are as unique in their way as U2 were in their right from the beginning. Though they are seasoned road warriors, it's no mean achievement that a debut album carrying so much weight seemingly so effortlessly, is so utterly sophisticated and complete . Sure, Capitol will try to make them the next big thing, and maybe they should -- when's the last time you heard anything really new in rock music? "Bury Your Head" is the only track here that is a carry-over from Saosin's EP. Its woven textures, explosive singing, knotty basslines, and call and response vocals are chilling and utterly effective. Saosin walk that line between metal, indie rock, post-hardcore, and many other things. But that tautness is what gives their songs such power and ruddy grace. The album may garner the charges of "sell-out" from the underground, but musicians grow. In a relatively short time, Saosin has evolved into a smart, utterly talented and perhaps even visionary unit that is rewriting the book in the 21st century. They have delivered a debut album that is mature, truly original, that can garner the attention of those kids -- and hopefully, older adults who still care about rock -- from almost any side of the rock & roll spectrum.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsSaosin Primary Artist
Howard Benson Keyboards
Alex Rodriguez Drums,Group Member
Beau Burchell Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Cove Reber Vocals,Group Member
Justin Shekoski Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Chris Sorenson Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Group Member
Technical CreditsHoward Benson Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Arthur Spivak Management
Martin Kvamme Graphic Design
Jon Nicholson Drum Technician
Chris Sorenson Programming
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
I'm not that great a fan of emo/screamo, I feel the genre is overall disingenuous and for being a product of this generation of rockers, not as great as they want to believe. Which is why I'm giving even greater praise for Saosin, as there is serious talent in this band. It would be unfair to say this band is not emo, or post-hardcore, but at the same time yo uhave to acknowledge that they are pushing the boundaries of either genere to produce a quickly mature sound and an original voice all their own.
"Voices" and "Bury Your Head" are great songs. The other songs sound pretty much the same. I played this CD about three times, and now I'm burned out on it. The lead singer, Cove Reber, has an awful voice in concert. You can hear it on the DVD, and it's so bad and high that you wonder how anyone could stay there and listen to it. The recording equipment is what helps his voice sound all right on this CD. This band will only achieve cult status if they survive. Please play the music samples on your computer before you buy this one.
Well I bought this album after we listened to it on my art teachers computer "I don't regret it either" Saosin is good, awesome drums, awesome guitars, and an awesome singer as well. The lyrics on the album are deep and meaningful and explain so much. The only problem I had with this CD was that I got a major headache from headbanging to it all night JK. buy it, it is awesome
I wish I wouldn't have bought this, because Cove Reber can't sing. He has a very high, pitchy voice. Anyway, the songs have bad arrangements too. I wasted my money on this CD. The DVD shows how they made the album and has a few videos.
This group reminds me of the group Simon Says, in that they have a few good songs and a lot of bad ones. One difference is that Cove Reber has an awful voice. The DVD isn't all that interesting. This group also needs to work on the arrangements of their songs. Every song seemed meshed together.