Three long years after Saosin’’s debut EP Translating the Name, the band tests their already well known popularity with a self-titled debut full length album from Capitol Records. With a line up change putting Cove Reber in place of former vocalist Anthony Green and Alex Rodriguez taking over on drums, the band has been through their fair share of controversy. Many wondered if Saosin still had the ability to own up to their release of Translating , with fans left unsatisfied by their sophomore Black Cover EP which was said to be wrongly released. With all the controversy behind them, the band hit the studio to finally release their full-length self-titled album and put a lasting brand on the music they are so well known for.
It is no surprise the album Saosin collectively put together lies along the same type of guitar crunching riffs and crashing percussions as those previous to it. The first track on the album, “It’s Far Better To Learn,” sets up the listener for an intense surge of energy that carries on throughout the whole album. Reber sets the energy tone high early with the repeating line of “what is my body worth” and soon the intense sound bleeds into a demo which was made available to fans previous to the release of the album; “Sleepers.” Though one will notice “Sleepers” draws a very close connection to Saosin’’s release of “I wanna hear another fast song,” there is no doubt that this version was meant for a much stronger album. Adding more content lyrically as well as instrumentally, this fast paced, intricate song will have you moving in no time. A much more mature Saosin takes the reigns in this version and its lyrics take on new meaning that give listener’s the kind of quality they expect from Saosin. “Voices” is a track on the Saosin album that let listeners have a taste of what the new album would offer before its release. With a live-video music feel much like that of “Bury Your Head” (released at the same time as the Black CoverEP) to accompany the track, “Voices” showed a whole new side of the re-invented band. With lyrics such as “we speak in different voices/ when fighting with the ones we love/ we speak in different voices/ why can’t we say what we’re thinking of,” Reber easily makes you forget that there was any doubt to his talent what so ever. As for the line-up change of both vocalist and drummer, the sixth and seventh songs, “Follow and Feel” and “Come Close” will set aside any doubts one may have had about the talent of either of the musicians. The drums rip through fill after fill as Reber’s voice, smooth and high pitched flows steadily with fast paced and hard-hitting guitar riffs from both Beau Burchell and Justin Shekoski. “I Never Wanted To” and “You’re Not Alone” bring a side to Saosin that many are not used to. Though the songs are not slow in a sense that they drag along, they bring to the table a more mature and well-rounded Saosin that one can expect to see from a full-length album. However, “I Never Wanted To” takes some of the lyrics from their previous track “No Angel,” which was a well-rounded song in the first place and turns the track into a smooth exchanging of lyrics back and forth throughout the song. Though this change in the song is somewhat disappointing, no one track is more upsetting than the change in pace of “Bury Your Head.” It is safe to say that this version of the song should have never been allowed to be placed on the album, record company decision or not. The band would have been better off putting the same version from the Black Cover EP on than changing what once used to be a fast paced, energetic song, to a whiny boring recreation.
Saosin has managed to pull together an intense and energetic album, which will please those who doubted the comeback of the band. Although the album does have its low points, the music overall maintains the status the band has most respectively earned. Those interested in a band that continues to break the boundaries of rock and produce quality fast paced tracks should pick this album up. Not only will the twelve-track album provide music original to any other rock band, it will remind you that Saosin is here to stay and will only get better.
release date: Tuesday, September 26, 2006