Say-Oh-Sin. Say it with me now: Say-Oh-Sin, because you're going to be hearing a lot more from these guys over in the next few months. Of course, if you've been on the scene at anytime in the past year or so, you have already heard a lot. The hype coming into their debut on major label, Capitol, was ridiculous to say the least. To me, it seemed undeserved. I was not getting that "next big thing" vibe from the EPs. In fact, I was bored with them. I was not buying into the hype, and was a little wary when I got this assignment because I was not expecting to like this record very much, but the boys of Saosin surprised me.
Instead of the mid-tempo, depressive post-hardcore I had written them off as playing, I was assaulted with quick pulsating songs playing to their singer's strength of being able to ascend above the music, and the technical proficiency of the band. The song "Sleepers," which probably my favorite track on the album, rushes right in with a pounding intro, complimented with a jittery, fast first verse that is complimented with a soaring, catchy chorus. The guitars work in tandem with Cove's voice to make the song compelling and edgy It continues on with the brilliantly paced "It's So Simple," "Voices," and "Finding Home." Everything that Saosin does right is contained within the first five tracks of the disc. They are catchy, dark, melodic, well-produced, and well paced. The beginning of the cd does well to set a melancholy tone that doesn't end until you hit the stop button. While listening you don't feel like you're listening to any other band, you feel like you're listening to Saosin.
However, the band was unable to keep up the momentum for the last five tracks. The end of the album is a clutter of mid-tempo, overly emotive songs that don't fit in with the aggressive and exciting first half. They aren't bad songs, but they do little to elevate the album. It leaves you coming out of it wishing that you could hear the first half again, but not wanting to hear the album as a whole anymore. When Saosin try to slow things down, the things that make them a solid band get lost along the way. You don't hear the bite of Cove's voice as it reaches its top pitch, or the rip and tear as the guitars play off of each other. The slower stuff seems to just mash all of the sounds together into a bland paste, where you aren't completely dissatisfied but you kind of want to skip to the next song.
So, does the album live up to the hype? No. The cd doesn't change the face of post-hardcore, it just does it really well. Saosin are definitely a band to watch because they are very talented, but on the debut there just isn't enough there to warrant calling them the heroes of the genre yet. Should you go listen to this cd? Absolutely. The first six tracks justify giving the disc a listen, because while it isn't groundbreaking it is a very good debut album