Review Summary: An average, but enjoyable EP worth the short 18 minutes you'll spend listening to it, especially if you're an emaciated Saosin fan.
After several years of solid touring, Saosin have finally served up a little EP to placate their fans.
If you're reading this, it's probable that you already know of Saosin's history. If not, there are other reviews that can inform you. All you need to know going into this EP is that Saosin have been touring for close to three years straight on the same record (their self-titled) and many fans are blue-balled for some new material. Cove will forever live in Green's shadow and this EP probably won't change that. Let's move onto the songs:
Keep Secrets - 4/5
This song is standard Saosin fare; catchy, explosive intro, followed by some breathing room upon which Cove lays his familiar, distinctive singing, continuing with more atmospheric riffing and catchy Cove cooing. However, worthy of special mention after a couple of verses is the introduction of Cove's new screaming style, which sounds far more characteristic of himself than imitative of his predecessor. His harsh singing is now far more guttural, throaty and more reminiscent of Spencer Chamberlain than Anthony Green, which I believe to be a good thing, considering the difficulty Cove has with hitting and sustaining all those high notes live (I've seen them live 4 or 5 times already so I should know). I personally hope their next record sees him doing more along these lines. Following the interesting screaming passage is another catchy, but less urgent sounding chorus and a sleepy, slower outro. The song is quite good, even if it would have sounded a hell of a lot like "Some Sense Of Security," off their self-titled were it not for the new screaming and slightly more uplifting vibe. If you're going to listen to one track on this EP, make sure it's this one.
Love Maker - 3.5/5
There's nothing really exceptional or horrid about this song, though the tradition of some iffy lyrics continues most prominently in the (admittedly incredibly catchy) chorus:
I'm always late with my words!
Should've told youuu, but I never really couuuld!
The rest of the song is ostensibly about trust, lust and honesty or something like that. Good old Saosin. If you can get past that, you're in for another safe, digestible 3:19 tune. I couldn't though, so I'm docking the song a little.
Why Can't You See - 3/5
Unremarkable. Features a decent intro, a decent verse, a descent lead-in, a less than decent and easily repeatable chorus, followed by another interchanged verse and chorus before a boring, whiny bridge and final chorus. The lyrics are once again troubled-relationship-centric and come off a little weaker, as the guitars dominate a little more heavily than in previous songs. The song ends a little suddenly at 2:50, which I appreciate, considering its status as one of the weaker, blander songs on the EP. Nothing to write home about, but another bearable track for the fans.
Come Close (Acoustic) - 3/5
An acoustic version of Come Close from their self-titled. Much slower, more delicate and ballad-y, with a dash of piano for atmosphere. Cove seems to hit all the right notes here, even if he sounds a little strained. This song loses love a little around 2:41 when the backing vocals eclipse the song. Also, Cove's final pronunciation of the word "yourself," irks me a little.
Love Maker (Acoustic) 2.5/5
The one thing I felt "Love Maker," had going for it was it's energetic (if slightly corny) chorus. This version is a little lethargic by those standards and doesn't really do all that much to redeem itself considering how the band basically tossed all their more stripped-down techniques at the acoustic ballad immediately preceding this one. Emotional, but far from excellent. A bit of a weak conclusion to an otherwise enjoyable EP.
Overall, the album is a decent enough effort, even if parts sound like rehashed bits from pre-existing songs and some of the melodies don't ascend as high as others. Inconsistency, recycling and resultant catchiness are all a part of the Saosin mantra, so those going in ought to know what to expect. It kind of goes downhill as it progresses and it's certainly not a new Translating The Name, but it's still worth 18 minutes of your time, especially if you just can't get enough (or desperately crave more) of Saosin.
-Cove's new screaming (Keep Secrets)
-something new for fans to finally latch onto
-songs soften and weaken as the EP goes on
-acoustic songs feel a little redundant and filler-ish