Review Summary: Heaven knows it should be so easy.
Whenever I listen to songs I really love, songs that I have listened to consistently for years, there always seems to be a moment in each song I look forward to listening to. A moment in these songs were the band achieves a sound I consider perfect, or even just comes off to me on an emotional level that I can relate to, or just fully enjoy and understand. These moments usually are extremely short, as they last no more than a minute at most, but they give me a feeling of pure happiness and such a content feeling that remind me just why I love music so much in the first place. These moments of musical bliss are easily the rarest thing to come across in music, so imagine my joy when an EP manages to capture it all for a cohesive 15 minute release.
Saosin, a band that at the time was fronted by Anthony Green, got it all right 2003 for the near perfect EP, Translating the Name
. This EP came out at the time where post-hardcore was taking a much different sound than what it had in the 1990’s. A time where bands like Thrice, Thursday, and Glassjaw were really the front runners of the genre, and rightfully so, but none of these bands managed to put forth the emotion and perfectionism that is all over this EP.
This EP is emotional as hell, and that’s prevalent right from the get go with the opener, and arguably the band’s most popular song to date, "Seven Years". This song is loud, full of blaring guitar that sound like they are literally dueling each other, heavy complex drums, and emotional vocals set forth by Green that capture what this genre’s vocals should sound like to perfection. The characteristics of this song really show what this EP has to offer, and with a song as good as "Seven Years", one should really get the feeling like the EP is something special. In simpler terms, this is a perfect opener.
The middle of this EP is fantastic as well. From the melodic vocals and well-written lyrics on the title track, to the heavy "Lost Symphonies", this doesn’t start slowing down anytime soon. Even the song "3rd Measurement in C", which starts a little slow and drags on just a bit, has an extremely worthwhile closer that is one of my favorite moments on this entire EP. The middle tracks show no signs of filler and are all interesting and worthwhile in their own way, making it nearly impossible to skip over tracks while listening to it.
As good as the EP starts, and as solid as the middle of the EP is, the best part of this is, in my eyes, the closing track, oddly named "They Perch On Their Stilts Pointing And Daring Me To Break Custom". This song is heavy, intense, emotional, and has one of the best closers not just in post-hardcore, but in all genres equally. Green writes a fantastic song, and his performance is so fitting not only on this song, but the whole EP.
This EP was post-hardcore perfection. The guitar instrumentation was awesome, the drums were intense and used perfectly, and the vocals and lyrics made this EP skyrocket to a whole different level. This band could have led the way for post-hardcore in the early and mid-2000’s, I truly believe that. This band had all the tools to be considered a giant within the genre, and most likely continue to push boundaries for what their sound could be.
Fast forward to today. Green left the band not long after the release of this EP to pursue a decent solo career and start a new band, Circa Survive, which did some pretty great stuff, but nothing like this. Saosin continued on with different singers, and only after the band’s second full length LP they collapsed disastrously, leaving Translating the Name
to be one of the biggest “what could have been” in the early 2000’s. The weirdest part of it all is that I’m totally okay with that. I was given 15 minutes of almost pure musical bliss, which is more than most bands can do in their entire career. What more can anyone ask for?