The Saturnines – Songs From My Bedroom EP

The Saturnines
Songs From My Bedroom EP

Despite the album title, the three-song EP from the duo The Saturnines doesn’t sound a bit like it was recorded in a bedroom. Rather, these two guys play pretty much straight-forward instrumental (mostly) rock, the kind of stuff that falls between your average bar band and the heavier approach taken by bands like the Fucking Champs. While I know little to nothing about The Saturnines (I believe they’re local to me), their music somehow is extremely fun to listen to.
For the most part, these three songs sound quite a bit like your favorite band on stage doing an instrumental. You know the type – you’re in a bar, drinking a lot of beer, and the band on stage breaks into a somewhat improvised (or was improvised in the practice space previously) instrumental jam that reinforces what good musicians they are. It’s nice for a while, but eventually you wish they’d get back to the songs with words. Well, there’s very few words on these songs, but at just over 16 minutes, The Saturnines don’t overwhelm you with long, drawn-out improvisational work either.
Starting out with “Plums” (I’m guessing these are the song titles), things take a pretty rocking tone, guitars mixing nicely with powerful drumming. When the song drops off into a quieter, more melodic moment, I’m far more impressed, as the band carries this approach off just as well. The much more melodic “Oranges” is far more impressive, even when it blasts away with distorted guitars and a punk-rock rhythm. By far the longest song at over six minutes, it changes styles often, getting a little new-agey for about 30 seconds, getting a tad funky, getting aggressive, but never leaving its straightforward rock approach, which is a nice accomplishment. “Apples” starts off very strong, with a moody bass-line mixing nicely with the drums and then the incorporation of piano to change things up. But when it picks up and vocals come in – mostly of the “whoa-ohh-ohhhh, yeah-yeah-yeah” variety, the song feels a little too contrived and poppy for my tastes.
No, they’re not the most impressive band I’ve ever heard, and they’re not the most original, but this is a demo, basically, and it’s a damn fine listen. I really enjoy blasting this EP, just putting it on and losing myself in whatever else I’m doing. The music is tight, precise, well-played, interesting, and not overwhelming. It’s good stuff, perhaps not quite pushing the envelope enough for a full-length, but a great start.