Update: On February 17, it was announced that Saosin will reunite with Anthony Green as vocalist for a performance at this year’s Skate & Surf Festival. You can read more info here and listen to our podcast discussion about the reunion here.
It’s that time of year again.
Fans of SoCal post-hardcore act Saosin are now well accustomed to the scattered, vague assurances such as the recent Tweet above. Instead of jubilation, the general response is more of an eye-roll. You’ll have to excuse us for our lack of enthusiasm, but we’ve heard this before.
It’s been over four years since the band released their last album, the shaky and uneven In Search of Solid Ground. Shortly thereafter, vocalist Cove Reber was dismissed, but not without promise of a new and improved Saosin on the horizon.
What followed was what appeared to be an awkward public audition for former Tides of Man vocalist Tilian Pearson. The resulting product consisted of a few shrug-worthy leaked demos before Pearson began his own solo project and officially joined the ranks of Dance Gavin Dance.
In the time since, fans have been treated to erratic and ambiguous messages and rumors that serve simply to remind us that Saosin is apparently still a thing. However, what’s far more interesting than these nuggets of non-information is observing the fan response – one that is now much akin to an oddly dark kind of classic conditioning.
Upon each ringing of the bell, we collectively choose to fight back our salivating hunger for new music in favor of the most active kind of apathy. We’ll roll our eyes, but not without an audible groan to let you know that we’re still here. Still waiting.
If Fall Out Boy’s triumphant reunion last year proved anything, it’s that the shelf life for this scene might be a little longer than everyone expected. It’s true that Saosin doesn’t hold the same mainstream appeal as Fall Out Boy, but they do hold one of the most rabid underground followings that the post-hardcore genre has seen. A following that has surely dwindled to some extent during the band’s prolonged absence, but one that appears ready to reconvene at a moment’s notice – whether they’ll openly admit it or not.
Consider the groundswell of response to each Saosin release through the years. Even at their worst, everyone had an opinion to give, and in some ways, even the negative jeers were filled with a knowing tone that the band could do better. No one seemed ready to give up. That notion is the unspoken undercurrent that drives the multiple pages of responses to each Saosin “update” – even when the voices are saying, “I don’t care.”
One thing that became clear during the Tilian Pearson experiment is that the third time is rarely a charm in this scene. Jon Bunch may have been a great vocalist and songwriter, but how does one go about filling the shoes of Jason Gleason and Chris Carrabba? Fortunately, Further Seems Forever fans were treated to a proper re-writing of history in 2012 when the band reunited with original vocalist Carrabba after an eight-year absence.
What resulted was Penny Black – a proper return to form that would become the band’s highest charting release. A successful reunion tour even featured a cameo from Gleason, joining the band on stage for a performance of “The Sound”. If this were to be the band’s farewell, very few would complain.
Could this serve as a model for a Saosin comeback? Whisperings of a reunion with Anthony Green have persisted since Reber’s departure. Although baseless at first, Green shockingly shared the stage with Saosin guitarists Justin Shekoski and Beau Burchell for a performance of “Seven Years” just over a year ago during a solo tour. Last summer, Green admitted to Alternative Press that he would consider working with the band again “if the timing was right.”
For many fans who have spent far too long waiting, perhaps it’s easier to assume that the timing will never be right, or at least not soon enough to get excited over.
But since we’re all just spit-balling here, what about a reunion tour with both vocalists? The first half of the set could consist of Reber-era material before a short intermission, followed by Green joining the band to perform the entirety of Translating the Name. Heck, the band could even record an EP with a few songs from both vocalists to satiate fans on both sides of the fence.
Alas, any idea presented is at best speculation and, at worst, daydreaming. Perhaps the only solace is that our time wasted pondering on impossible scenarios is time that the band has spent slowly fashioning their return.
In the end, I’m fully content with spinning Translating the Name and Saosin for as long as time will allow and I suspect most fans of the band feel the same. Yet with every reminder that there is “a pulse,” I’m reminded of what has become a twisted game of cat and mouse – one that keeps me cautiously hopeful, even as I shrug it off.
by Kiel Hauck
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.