Saosin – Translating the Name EP

Saosin
Translating the Name EP

I must confess that I am a regular visitor (addict) of mp3.com. I mean the site hosts over a million (literally, 1,000,000) bands. You can listen to and even download these bands’ songs, completely for free, and LEGALLY! How can you resist the place? Ok, now that the shameless plug is over, the relevance appears. Saosin was recently featured on mp3.com’s homepage, and I passed them up because I thought they were some Asian band. Boy, was I wrong. I apologize to Saosin for an instant judgement based solely upon the band’s name.
I later found out that Saosin is a group of five guys from California showing off their hardcore roots and their “new-age’ melody skills. They contrast chugging riffs and melodic picking, while juxtaposing melodic yet powerful singing against all out screaming. If I had been typing this about three or four years ago, the concept would’ve been groundbreaking. In this day and age, everyone’s doing the emo dance, and a band needs to breathe their own style into the genre to get recognized.
So what is Saosin’s marker? It seems to be the emphasis on melody. The vocals that carry the melody are done in a style that’s becoming increasingly popular: high, but not punkishly high, and with a slightly nasal intonation that quickly reminded me of “The Phoenix Rising.” They make much more use of these sung vocals than their screamer, featuring melody over thrash in each and every track. In fact, even their chugging, loud, meant-to-be-ferocious parts come off as a bit more melodic than the average band. Trust me, this is still sharp, angular, and hardcore, but there’s just a lot more tune here.
And to counteract that positivity, there must be a negative thought. This gets old fast. They use the exact same formula of pounding drums, blazing guitars, melody, and occasional screaming on four of the five songs on this EP. That equals overkill and boredom by the last song. Thankfully, the highly intense “Lost Symphonies” sees the vocals soaring and the two guitarists mashing a riff and a melody together to make a whole new sound. Otherwise, it’s just a black line on a white page….it always stays the same.
We the jury, find that Saosin is not guilty of being just another lame screamo band. It’s inherently obvious that they have talent. It’s just that they need to develop it. This debut EP is the first step in the right direction. Let’s hope they keep moving and don’t just stand on this stepping stone the rest of their career. Otherwise, they will get lost in the shuffle and be grouped as “another lame wannabe.”