SATURN hits perfect balance in new EP

  Despite their smaller size, SATURN is a band that has been kicking since 2003, releasing two full length albums, with a follow-up EP in 2018. “Stomping Grounds” is a fascinating release that packs a bit more of a punch than their previous albums.

  SATURN is typically a fairly ominous band. Whether this is in the lyrics or the hazy, atmospheric musical landscape that they craft, most of every song has some kind of darkness layered into it. While this bleakness is omnipresent in “Stomping Grounds,”  the atmosphere is ditched for stronger guitar licks and more dynamic lead work. While this does stand out a little next to some of their past work, the sound continues to compliment their strengths and avoids ditching their old sound completely. In terms of a band’s evolution, this is the “Goldilocks Zone” that most bands would strive to achieve.

  To try and classify this release into a genre would typically land it somewhere in the alt-rock arena, but distinctive metal-inspired riffs flow through a few tracks. “August Heat” has this lead guitar that takes over the mix that sounds straight off a Black Sabbath album. The fuzzy hard-rock chords that flow through the title track further exemplify this idea.

   Despite the “metal” comments, a strange similarity can be drawn to Gorillaz. Vocally, the similarities are occasionally uncanny. The filter layered over Brett Fieldcamp’s vocals in “A City Split By A Mountain Range” is distinctly similar to what Damon Albarn has done in the past. Take this with the synthetic drum work, sweeping synthesizers, hollow production and cryptic lyrics and the likeness to Gorillaz is undeniable. This all being said, it never feels like a cheap rip-off. SATURN establish their own identity without truly sounding like copycats.

   The black tone of this album carries on to “Dorothy Gale,” a track that discusses a tornado, presumably one that hit the band’s hometown of Moore in 2013. Taking the title from the full name of the lead character in “The Wizard Of Oz,” the song discusses this Dorothy that comes and destroys everything in the narrators life. The literalness of this track can only come in the eye of the beholder.

   “Stomping Grounds” is a truly excellent EP that helps establish a new sound to these local veterans. Demonstrating their immense talent, this release is not one to be passed over.

One Two Ten Releases the Third Installment of the “Hurry Up & Wait” Collection

Yesterday (March 8th), One Two Ten released Wait, the third installment of their EP collection, Hurry Up & Wait. The band began the slow process in October with Hurry, followed by Up earlier this year. The full length album (a 12-song production) will come out in April.

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The Classless release emotional, engaging EP

   From the opening moments of “Try Not to Panic, Pt. 2” by The Classless, there is an unquestionable sense of intrigue. A slow plucking acoustic guitar introduces the first track, “Hindsight,” a tale of running away with someone. As the music swells, the tale sours. The relationship seems to have gone south. Resentment and unhappiness builds, as  the narrator realizes this was a bad idea in hindsight.

   Creativity in storytelling and music creation defines The Classless’ indie rock/pop-punk sound. Released early 2019, part two of their “Try Not to Panic” EP series is pumped full of tracks as engaging as the opener.

   This songwriting works excellently in tandem with the stellar production.  Every song feels properly mastered and everything sounds clean and distinguished. When dissecting smaller artist, poor production is typically part of the package, not due to the band’s inability, but because of having a low overall budget. Yet here, this is not a problem. The guitars are crisp, the drums are punchy and the vocals sit in a perfect place in the mix. Not once do the vocals seem too washed out or overbearing.

   “Do What You Need To” is a bouncy sing-along that tackles the futile attempt to hold onto a dying relationship. “The version of us that I miss so much/gets further and further away” perfectly encapsulates the sentiment of this song. The direct contrast of a cleaner vocal style with a more strained delivery further demonstrates the turmoil that is being felt by the narrator.

   While each of the six tracks are well worth mentioning, one final highlight is the lead single for the EP, “20S and 30S.” A quintessential love song, pledging one’s life and soul to another. The narrator practically comes off masochistic, as details describes burning oneself and being a “dog tied up” by a significant other’s love are revealed. This intimate profession of passion feels personal, almost too personal to be hearing. Couple this with the dynamic instrumentation that swells as if the audience is there while the narrator tells their partner all of these things.

   Wrapping up on this track, both the narrator and the audience end emotionally tattered. Every second of “Try Not To Panic, Pt. 2” is skillful, introspective and powerful. A wonderful release all the way through.