Along the Shadow

Saosin - Along the Shadow

This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on May 3rd, 2016. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.

Let’s take a listen to the new Saosin album. Same thing goes as before — spoilers abound, I reserve the right to change my opinion as time goes on. I’ve got multiple beers sitting in front of me, and I’m hitting play and just going to type out my thoughts as I listen.

The Silver String

11:35pmI’m not as down on this song as others have been. I like the, almost catchy, chorus to it. I think the instrumentals are great. The screams are a little rough, but I think Anthony’s “for you to BOUNCE RIGHT BACK” is a really great moment.

11:39pmThere’s just something that draws me to Saosin. Ever since I hear first got handed a CDR with a bunch of instrumental tracks (that became that first EP) back when I was a sophomore in college, they’ve just done this … this kind of music that I find myself drawn to. That harmonic voice with crashing instrumentals.

Ideology is Theft

11:42pmGreat Anthony screams here. If I didn’t know this was Saosin, I’d think it was someone trying to mimic Saosin. That’s the weird thing about this album. Sometimes it feels like it’s a cover band, but I don’t really know why I feel that way. Maybe I didn’t expect this would ever be coming. There’s something very cinematic to this song. The chorus has this huge build.

11:43pmThis would have been away message material in high-school. That bridge and outro should have been more.

Racing Toward a Red Light

11:45pmIt’s been released already, but this is definitely a highlight. Like, if this album only gave us this song, it’s worth it IMO. Really like the drums, really like how they layer Anthony into the verses.

11:46pmI can’t wait to play this when Hannah gets home, and she’s gonna be like wtf are you listening to. I think she can handle most of the stuff I listen to, I have no idea what she’s gonna do with Saosin.

Second Guesses

11:48pmMelodic opening sound. I really like the drum/guitar combo.

I am impressed how Anthony restrains himself into the chorus. They pull this back in a really interesting way. I don’t know about this song, it’s a little, I dunno, it feels like it’s missing something, but god, how they make that chorus work is impressive. Really great guitar tone.

11:49pmFlat out love the bridge.

Count Back from Ten

11:52pmIf you had asked me what Saosin would sound like of Anthony had stayed after the EP, this is what I would have wanted.

11:52pmSeriously, it feels like 2003. It’s Saosin through and through to me in this song. This is what made me first start writing about the band, the back and forth, the chaos and the control, the loud to the soft. The opposing beauty in Anthony’s vocals and the crashing instruments.

Definitely a highlight for me.

The Stutter Says a Lot

11:56pmI’ve never liked songs opening too fast with vocals. This does. Something about the chorus isn’t quite right … anthemic, but I want it to go like one more level up. Some great drumming and this album is full of strong bridges. Love the harmonies (layered vocals) going on here. The scream is clean, the lyrics I can’t quite connect on the first listen though.

Sore Distress

11:58pmThese last couple are blending together a little. This doesn’t quite stand out to me. Not my favorite. Middle of the album is dragging a little bit.

12:00amI mean, god damn they pull a lot off at the end of this though. There’s something about these guys that just impress me. I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like … any other band I don’t think has the same reaction, but this one does.

Don’t love the fade out at the end.

The Secret Meaning of Freedom

12:02amInteresting sequencing for this song. I think I would have messed with a few things and put this in that middle section to keep the pace really high. Screaming and fast drumming, amiright?

Old Friends

12:05amOk, coming into the end of the album. The album is … it’s good, right, but it feels disjointed in some ways. It’s not something that feels as cohesive as I usually like, but I’m drawn to it. I’m drawn to these songs. This feels, again, like something I could have seen on the follow up to the EP.

I love what they do with Anthony’s vocals on this one. It’s him screaming and singing and there’s like 10 of him going on into this chorus and it’s a great effect in the headphones.

Illusion & Control

12:11amGreat intro.

I’d have released this as the first song. Maybe that’s blowing your load to early, but if you make this the first song everyone heard, people would be freaking out right now IMO. It’s really good.

12:13amOne of my favorites on this listen by far. The little “oooohhhhh” parts right before the chorus are so heavenly. Then it pauses into the aggressive vocals. Under-appreciated bass line.

Love the screams. Really, really like this song.

Control and Urge to Pray

12:16amAnother one that they’ve released. Not a bad one, weird that it’s at the end of the album to me though.

12:18amYeah, just a really good song. Good end to the album. No complaints here.

12:19amBy and large, a really good album that isn’t quite great, I don’t think. It’s solid. It’s kind safe in a “that’s what Saosin should sound like” kind of way, but never in a disappointing manner. I am firmly in the “I like it” camp. I can’t believe it’s a thing, but like, I’ll take this over anything most bands aping this sound have done in the past 10 years.

12:25amMaybe it’s the beer, maybe it’s that Anthony Green said nice things to me on Twitter, but I really am pleased with what they did with this one. I like the album. I like the songs. I like the entire thing even if I don’t think it’s great. I’m still going to play the fuck out of it and I really do love that it even exists. It just ended and I hit play again. I don’t listen to much music like this anymore, but they have this it factor that pulls me in. Just god damn, love how loud it is, and am glad it exists.

I enjoyed this, from a pure I have a couple beers and cranking the headphones perspective it’s got a really good first impression. It made me want to listen again, I found it engaging, fun, and … interesting.

12:34amThere’s a couple things that could cause that – one being that I flat out don’t listen to much music like this anymore so maybe it’s just the novelty is speaking to that part of me, and it’s that it feels so new. Maybe it’s been done so often, that people are gonna think this is like a copy of copy of a copy. But, for what it’s worth, I know I’ll play it a whole lot for a few months. EOTY stuff? No idea. Maybe it’ll make it, maybe I’ll end up connecting with it. But this is something I totally see myself listening to quite a bit the next few months, and it sounds so fucking good loud.

12:45pmGotta go get some sleep, thanks for reading!