Best of 2016 Playlist

January 27, 2017

Featured Post - Saosin

Unfamiliar with this band? Shame on you. If you're a fan of early 00s emo, The Used, or just looking for something to jam out to, then you should listen to this band. Saosin have a lengthy legacy, that more than suits them given their accomplishments. 

To buy their most recent album, "Along The Shadow", on iTunes click this (link). 

The band that came back from the brink, Saosin's 3rd album dropped last year to fan and critical acclaim. It was what everyone had been waiting for for nearly 13 years. Original vocalist Anthony Green returned to helm the lyrics and lend his masterful voice, and then the band just did what they've always done best. Writing superb songs. 

The thing that really sets Saosin apart from other bands is that they're not young. They're not novices. Much like Pierce the Veil, they've been doing this for well over 10 years. They've honed their craft, and everything that has been released in recent years has been perfect. Their experience shows in their work, and their performances. It's a pleasure to watch Anthony Green on stage. In a similar fashion to Trenton Woodley, whose voice is equally smooth and filled with angst, there's just something about him that captures our attention. 

Their sound is comparable to Hands Like Houses, I the Mighty, and post "Sempiternal" Bring Me The Horizon. Dancing the line between alt. rock and post hardcore, it's post hardcore in easy to digest capsules. Very accessible for newcomers, but also very familiar. As said before, this band fits comfortably with the other "emo" bands of the 00s that shaped the sound. Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, and the aforementioned The Used are Saosin's equals in that sense. 

Like Hands Like Houses, the band balance their emphasis on rhythm and melody. Beau Burchell writes fast guitar riffs, while Chris Sorenson and Alex Rodriguez drive the beat. One of the band's best riffs come from "Voices", off their self titled debut. It's a frantic melody that contrasts the smooth and calm vocals from ex-vocalist Cove Reber. It has a very mid-00s Paramore vibe. In fact much of the band's work off their debut is comparable to Paramore. A huge change from the more hardcore oriented music off their much loved EP "Translating the Name". 

Green and Reber's vocal techniques are similar but ultimately Green is the superior singer. If only because he's had more opportunities to practice and stretch his range. Even in his early years as a vocalist, Green's voice was more melodic and much lighter in comparison to Reber's grittier, alt. rock oriented voice.  Green not only fronts Saosin, but also Circa Survive. And in addition, Green launched a solo career and then joined started numerous side projects, including The Sound of Animals Fighting, and High and Driving. He's lent his voice to emo, pop punk, indie rock, pop, and progressive rock. Because of this versatility, one has to give Green higher marks. 

Green's return to the band also saw the return of unclean vocals to the band's music, and in term a return to a heavier sound. Again, like Hands Like Houses, Saosin don't rely on breakdowns as much as other post hardcore contemporaries do. Instead they craft rhythmic guitar riffs that imitate breakdowns. The end product is just as pleasing to the ear, but are also far more interesting to listen to. Take the breakdown in "Drinking From the Fountain". The riff relies on bends and palm muting as much as your average breakdown. But isn't focused on open string chugs. 

Recommended tracks - "Seven Years", "On My Own", "Voices", "Is This Real?", "Fireflies", "The Silver String", "Racing Toward A Red Light", "Drinking From the Fountain" and "The Secret Meaning of Freedom".