Usually I don’t review singles, but as this is such a momentous one, I’m making an exception. It’s our first taste of the Saosin/Anthony Green re-union, their first material together since 2003’s ‘Translating the Name’, and it’s fair to say I’ve invested a lot of emotional stock in this project since it was announced last year.
Their iconic debut EP was powerful, fast and full of energy and with Anthony Green’s explosive vocals, it became the model for aspiring post-hardcore bands to study and replicate for years to follow. Although I’ve been an adoring fan ever since, I’d have to say that since ‘Translating the Name’, Saosin’s output has been underwhelming; the self-titled full-length and ‘In Search of Solid Ground’ lacked the energy and enthusiasm that made ‘Translating the Name’ so transformational and while they weren’t necessarily bad albums, they never lived up to the hype that their first EP promised.
Cove Reber, Green’s replacement, became an obvious scapegoat for this change in sound, being the key change in personnel. It was all too tempting to long for the days of Anthony Green-era Saosin when things were a bit more upbeat, raw and interesting. After the announcement that Green would be rejoining the band to write a new album, my mind instantly went to that happy place in my brain where my memories of ‘Translating the Name’ reside and assumed that this new project would transport me back to that time and let me relive it all over again. Then ‘The Silver String’ happened.
Cove Reber was, of course, just a symbol of change and not really the cause of it. Saosin’s more subdued sound, which began on their self-titled record, was the product of the entire band’s shift in songwriting style and this latest single continues where they left off. It’s good to hear Green’s vocals over Beau Birchell’s riffs again, but when it comes to reigniting the spark that was felt back in 2003, it didn’t hit me where I thought it would.
Now I know what you’re thinking: it’s jouvenile to expect a group of musicians to pick up where they left off some 13 years on, and you’d be absolutely right. The only justification I have for my brain is that 13 years ago this band had a profound affect on my musical tastes and when I heard about this project, it dredged up all those old memories, giving me unrealistic and unfeasible expectations. I’m extremely thankful for ‘The Silver String’ for slapping me in the face and giving me a reality check, because now I can begin re-calibrating my brain to appreciate the output of this project for what it is and not what I wanted it to be.
This track occupies the sweet-spot between Green’s more ambient Circa Survive and Saosin’s self-titled album, with a catchy guitar hook and some great vocal moments. It’s nice to hear Alex Rodriguez expressing himself a little more on the kit here than on ‘In Search of Solid Ground’ where he didn’t really showcase enough of his incredible talent. While I’d like to hear more aggression and more dynamic tempos, ‘The Silver String’ is a welcome introduction to Saosin of 2016. By the time ‘Along the Shadow’ is released on May 20th I’ll be ready to receive this new record as if it were an entirely new, modern band and not the shadow of a memory from 2003. Through that lens, this is a totally different prospect and one that I’m looking forward to all over again.