Is This Real? The Return of Saosin

saosin-new

The time has finally come. Almost. Probably. Hopefully. Maybe.

Last week, Saosin announced that they had signed to Epitaph Records and would be releasing their long-awaited third full-length album sometime this spring. For a band that has led the league in hollow promises and endless teasing for the better part of seven years, this is as close as we’ve come to jubilation and relief.

Just to be clear, we don’t have any new music just yet, unless you count a slightly intriguing 30-second YouTube clip that wisely avoids tipping the band’s hand. It’s just as well – I’d personally rather hear that first rapid fire drum fill atop a screeching guitar riff in its proper context when a full song is released. Until then, we wait patiently. Still.

For what was arguably the most buzz worthy band this scene had ever known, Saosin’s road has consistently been littered with bumps and unexpected twists and turns since their inception. Has a band with this much potential and talent ever been this mysteriously riddled with misfortune and discord? Even the lead up to this long-awaited moment has been blemished by the band’s painful divorce from founding guitarist Justin Shekoski. Another day, another strange and shocking revelation in the world of Saosin.

Nevertheless, this is truly the occasion long-time fans of the band have been pining for. The band’s original prodigal son, Anthony Green, has returned to the fold and is set to front the album we never thought we’d receive. Although the reunion has been anything but storybook, it’s played out in true Saosin fashion every step of the way – surprising, peculiar, lengthy and with very few details.

While I’m certainly interested to hear what a Saosin album fronted by Green sounds like in the year 2016, you could place any number of actual or rumored Saosin vocalists in front of the mic and still have my attention. To me, the heart of the band will always be Beau, Alex, Chris, and even in his absence, Justin. Both the Green and Cove Reber eras of the band brought unique qualities in terms of vocal style and substance, but the overwhelming significance of Saosin in the post-hardcore scene lies in the frantic, bewildering, powerful instrumentation.

Even when the band spent long stretches in radio silence, marked by constant transition and states of limbo, their influence stretched far and wide across an array of genres. Still, not a single look-alike managed to captivate and inspire quite the way Saosin did. For that reason alone, this long walk in the desert will have been worth it for a fan base that never seemed to dwindle, even as it perpetually grumbled.

It’s quite possible that the next few months will feel even longer than the years that preceded them as we anticipate the elusive album that is now within reach. Is it possible for this record to meet the ungodly expectations that will certainly be attached to it? That same question was asked before the release of the band’s self-titled debut in 2006. While opinions on the impact of that album still differ, there’s no denying its place in Saosin lore. It’s likely that the same will be true of the forthcoming record, no matter the outcome.

It won’t be long before debate commences once more. Let’s hope it was worth the wait.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel 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.

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