Saso – Warmed Up EP

Warmed Up EP

I couldn’t figure out why I loved this EP so much. At first I thought it was just the style of quiet and moody soundscapes that has been appealing to me so lately. But many bands are doing that these days. What makes Saso different? It’s the fact that the recording is truly lo-fi in nature. Much of this album was recorded in a live setting using the bare minimum of instrumentation and very minor sampling done afterwards. Despite the fact that the band must be incredibly talented to make the songs so good, the songs take on a warm, organic, almost living feel.
To truly appreciate Warmed Up, you must sit down and listen to it all at once. The songs sort of flow together, and each song has its own unique flow. I’ll use that word a lot, I suppose, but it is apt. These songs are very organic and charming, a sort of swirling that is based around stark guitar, quiet vocals, very deep bass, and light drumming. And it’s oh so beautiful.
The introduction starts off this EP with a kind of moody sound, piano playing softly with a sort of wash of noise in the background, evoking images of a Cerberus Shoal style band. “I’ll Be the Judge of That” is absolutely gorgeous, with mellow guitar and soft drums just flowing so beautifully. The vocals are the perfect accompaniment, soft and yet lovely, reminiscent of Rainy Day Regatta, and the use of a sampled recording in the middle has a nice effect. “A Lesson Learnt” uses that lo-fi recording along the rhythm to great extent. The drums sound stark and slightly primal, with the bass mixed low and throbbing in the background. With the melodic, soft guitar and multiple vocals, you almost get a slow-core approach ala Low.
“Numbskull” starts a bit odd, but then it recedes into a quiet, introspective instrumental, with stark guitar and some nice sampled noise that slips from under the entire song to the focus. As the drums come in, deep and quiet, the song actually does resemble Cerberus Shoal to some extent, quite beautiful and, I say it again, flowing quietly. Finally, “All My Life” closes off this too-short release much as it began. With piano leading the way, the guitars come in stark and melodic, and this moody song has a kind of desperate feel. The piano is absolutely beautiful here, and without a doubt, this is the most fleshed out song, the bass filling the low ends, the guitar the perfect accompaniment to the piano, the vocals quiet and high-pitched, echoed and lovely. I get chills every time I hear this song, and few bands can have that effect.
I can’t get enough of Saso. Sure, you might think that bands can do more with more studio work, but it’s precisely the lack thereof that makes this stand out and be so lovely. The songs have a quieter, more honest and alive approach. They’re beautiful because they make the best use of their instruments and then go very little further. And with wonderful, quiet vocals and a talented band, you can do a lot. My only regret is that it’s too short. But it makes for an easy listen in one sitting. And that’s how it’s best appreciated.