Saintseneca
Dark Arc


4.5
superb

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
April 4th, 2014 | 78 replies


Release Date: 04/01/2014 | Tracklist


In an episode of Portlandia, a character played by Kristen Wiig becomes maniacally obsessed with a local band"her local band. While displaying much less folly, I too know the feeling of intense possessiveness surrounding a band. In my case it is Saintseneca, a kitschy little folk band I first discovered huddled on the tiny stage of Kobo in Columbus, Ohio. The band appeared right at a time when I was becoming comfortable with my city; right when I was beginning to fall for the place I was calling home. Playing with utmost intimacy, the band was captivating to behold, and suddenly the tiny local band had become my band.

Saintseneca were always destined to become bigger than the dingy bars they were playing during their infancy. With their second record, Dark Arc, it should come as no surprise that the band has expanded their sound into more daring territory. Featuring the same “stompy” folk aesthetic that made Last such a marvel, the band’s sophomore effort feels very comfortable and familiar. However, being granted more exposure has allowed Saintseneca to grow into a much more mature group. Each song contained within the album is a distinct and evocative piece of an entire whole. They sound more sure of themselves than ever, making Dark Arc an enjoyable and vibrant display.

Where the band excels is in their ability to sound as big as possible while still retaining an overwhelming sense of intimacy. There’s a lot of clanging and cacophony surrounding the weakly strained vocals, which for the uninitiated, would sound like a dozen band members pounding away at their instruments. Yet in pieces like “Fed Up With Hunger,” the band displays masterful restrain, as the spaces between the music provide and evocative sense of drama. Conversely, the massive and messy climax within “Falling Off” is a barrage of carefully constructed noise and it’s absolutely engrossing. As multi-instrumentalists, the members of Saintseneca are able to provide an ample amount of variety. “Tamkit” and “Daenors” feature a ton of unconventional stringed instruments that feel absolutely pitch perfect with the overall aesthetic. Dark Arc oozes rustic charm thanks in no small part to the laissez-faire production that allows the band to shine. The album feels neat and tidy while still feeling rough around the edges.

On paper, not a lot differentiates Saintseneca from the glut of indie-folk bands that saturate the scene. Unlike the rest of the crowd, however, the band offers up an unparalleled sense of wonder within each song. Featuring members wise beyond their years, Saintseneca have crafted a dense and personal record that contains a staggeringly mature and refined sound. Sure I may still cling to them, steadfastly declaring them my band. However, with their intensely heartfelt and unique songwriting, there is no reason that they should not be everyone’s band.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 4th 2014


10615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

AOTY

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

SeaAnemone
April 4th 2014


20587 Comments


I really hate how he pronounces
"re-veal-a-tions" like with a hard "re"
is that an Ohio thing or is he just doing that on his own?

otherwise this is spectacular. like top 3 of the year spectacular.

Digging: Dirty Beaches - Stateless

Xenophanes
Emeritus
April 4th 2014


10615 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It isn't an Ohio thing it's weird

SeaAnemone
April 4th 2014


20587 Comments


but anyway ya great review mr. emeritus!
will gladly fawn over this band any day of the week

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2014


17224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I just want a new Sidekicks record...

wabbit
April 4th 2014


7012 Comments


oooo


hi friends!

SeaAnemone
April 4th 2014


20587 Comments


thread is so 2009

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2014


17224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

LOVEHATELOVEWITHTHECITYILISTENTOALOTOFGOSPELANDIHATEMYSELFCHANSONTHRICEENVYBRANDNEW

there.

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 4th 2014


5256 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think it's 'daendors' but i could be wrong

lovely review and album, still spinning this daily

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

SeaAnemone
April 4th 2014


20587 Comments


I thought I saw my name in there Adam but it ended up just being part of thrice

lol thrice

porch
April 4th 2014


8459 Comments


09 was a good sputnik year

wabbit
April 4th 2014


7012 Comments


i'm in a super awesome (only slightly chemically assisted) mood atm

is that a good time for this or should i wait until i'm sad again??

MrxSelfxDestruct
April 6th 2014


495 Comments


3.5

Pretty cool.

SharkTooth
April 6th 2014


5255 Comments


"local band�"her local band."
you got a little � y'know?

Digging: Fuzz - Fuzz

Asdfp277
April 6th 2014


1213 Comments


was just gonna point that, what character was it, i need to know! :00

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2014


3471 Comments


the band displays masterful restrain, as the spaces between the music provide and evocative sense of drama


"restraint" and "an"

otherwise fantastic review as always eli

Asdfp277
April 6th 2014


1213 Comments


"and"*

this is never-endign

SharkTooth
April 6th 2014


5255 Comments


"was just gonna point that, what character was it, i need to know! :00"
it's a sputnik glitch that happens in reviews

Gyromania
April 6th 2014


15941 Comments


what do you mean by playing with intimacy?

Asdfp277
April 6th 2014


1213 Comments


shark: yeah but i didn't know it happened at random. it's known that some characters make sputnik go derp, like á's and é's on album titles and bands, but given the context it's doubtful eli used any of those. so what set it off, i don't know, it is a mystery! :00 !

edit: sorry gyro lol.



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