Although the once-promising future of this talented band is now in doubt, Saosin’s two stellar albums established them as one of the premier acts of their genre. Lead singer Cove Reber is a huge reason for their success, as well as the uncertainty that now clouds their prospective careers, as his one-of-a-kind voice set Saosin apart and elevated them to great heights. His shrill and wavering voice gave the already prolific guitar riffs and fast-paced drumming extra verve, as those superbly edgy and coarse vocals injected life into each and every song. Reber’s vocals were rough around the edges, but when combined with blazing guitars and prominent drumming, they created something magnificent to behold. The urgent emotion accompanied by the heavy musical composition makes Saosin a compelling experience that continues to grow on the listener with each subsequent play. Saosin’s debut was a bit more straightforward than their moody, more complex and all-around superior followup In Search Of Solid Ground, but this original entry in their discography should not be overlooked for its incredible musicianship, the burning sentiments in the lyrics and of course, the birth of a potential star in Cove Reber.
“Sleepers” follows a fantastically moody and brooding leadoff track with an equally enigmatic, fast-paced rocker to quickly send a message about how much talent Saosin has. Reber’s discordant voice provides the angst necessary for such an aggressive song, but he also supplies some pitch-perfect high notes to reinforce his control over all the intense emotions being thrown around. The electric whine of Justin Shenoski’s lead guitar sets fire to Beau Burchell’s rhythm guitar as they play off each other to create an epic combination once Alex Rodriguez’s rapid drumming joins the mix. “Sleepers” isn’t the best song of Saosin, but it’s one of many staggeringly complex and intelligently-written examples of what this band can do.
“Voices” is the song that put Saosin on the map and is without a doubt the finest song on Saosin. With its sublime central guitar riff, intricately layered drumming and Chris Sorenson’s deep bass providing a moody background, Reber steps up to the plate and knocks it out of the park with his shrillest and most superb vocal performance of the whole album. His voice reaches heights other vocalists don’t even dare to dream about, all without breaking or failing to convey the burning desire to find answers as he cries out “We speak in different voices / When fighting with the ones we love / We speak in different voices / Why can’t we say what we’re thinking of?”
All of Saosin’s songs showcase intense emotional firepower, but unlike the urgent ideas conveyed by the majority of the album, “You’re Not Alone” sees the band expressing lighter sentiments of encouragement and hope. Reber’s voice remains composed for each build-up verse but wavers with emotion for each escalating chorus. With its more somber mood (and even the addition of piano), this song adds variety to Saosin and provides a glimpse at the band’s future versatility.
It’s a pity that Reber was ousted from Saosin for his drug problems, because this band would have continued making terrific music for years, or at least until Reber’s wonderfully shrill vocal chords shattered from overexertion. Unfortunately for fans, Saosin and In Search Of Solid Ground are so outstanding that they may forever serve as painful reminders of what this band might have been. From the dark opener “It’s Far Better To Learn” to the heavy rocker “Bury Your Head,” Saosin shows their talent for crafting hard-hitting, impactful music, both in composition and content. Fans of Circa Survive, Secret & Whisper, Underoath, Chiodos, Sleeping With Sirens, Tides Of Man, Before Their Eyes and Senses Fail will be familiar with this type of music and join in mourning the loss of such a gifted musician. Because as transcendent as Cove Reber is and as necessary as his departure was, it’ll be difficult for Saosin to ever be the same without him.
Final Score: 8.7/10
- It’s Far Better To Learn
- It’s So Simple
- Finding Home
- Follow And Feel
- Come Close
- I Never Wanted To
- You’re Not Alone
- Bury Your Head
- Some Sense Of Security