Saturn Expedition – Look Back Fair Pilgrim

Saturn Expedition
Look Back Fair Pilgrim

Disclaimer: Some may find this review to be in bad taste, its not for the faint-hearted. I’m not really that mean of a person.
Saturn Expedition is a band fronted by Patrick Shea. His label’s one-sheet likens him to Radiohead gone eclectic or Elliott Smith crossed with the experimentation of Stereolab. However, the difference between bands like Radiohead and artists like Elliott Smith are that they actually have large amounts of talent, and listeners usually enjoy them extensively. Patrick Shea uses Saturn Expedition as his monikor. But one has to wonder if this was because his family might have asked him to not flaunt their name around with such lack of talent.

Simply put, Look Back Fair Pilgrim is boring, uncreative, and drags on like four-hour traffic school seminar (I should know, I’ve been to one). This CD bothers me so much that I had to turn off and couldn’t even get through the second half of the album. I found this album extremely difficult to review because for the most part it consists of Patrick playing the same chord over and over while attempting to form some sort of harmony with his voice. Unfortunately, for the listener he fails miserably at this.
What bothers me more than anything is the lack of emotion here. Most bands and/or artists are able to convey specific feelings through music via interesting chords that sound dark or melodic and really take the listener to more of an epic journey. I personally enjoy the likes of both Codeine and Low, who while being extremely slow have interesting guitar parts and have passion for what they’re playing. Saturn Expedition, on the other hand, uses extremely basic chords, mostly C’s and E’s and D’s. It sounds more like he just started to play guitar and is attempting to experiment with various chords, trying to find a melody no matter how basic or simplistic.
I sincerely apologize for being rude and offensive to both Saturn Expedition and his label Cronus Records. In most of my reviews, I try to be objective, focusing on some sort of good throughout the recording. Unfortunately, there is anything but good musicianship and quality songwriting on this record. My personal advice for Patrick Shea is to not quit his day job and to think about investing in some guitar lessons. I think we all know where this CD is going … off to the used record store.