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Audiversity Give Saturna Rave Review August 9, 2007

Posted by Ryan in Saturna, Some Delicious Enemy.
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Big Thanks to Patrick from Audiversity for writing a long and well thought out review of Some Delicious Enemy.  He likens Saturna to My Bloody Valentine, Spiritualized or modern bands like A Sunny Day In Glasgow or Deerhunter.  He says, “Saturna build sonic monuments out of reverb and delay, crushing cymbals and elephantine roars.”  He also gives us a massive compliment stating that, “Saturna understand perhaps better than their influences right now (Seriously, did you hear Baby 81?) that you cannot build a musical monolith without strong foundations. That is what makes Some Delicious Enemy so incredibly appealing.” 

 Read the whole review here:

When you think Portland and music, what do you think of? If you’ve been reading a whole lot of Spin or Tiny Mix Tapes, you may be thinking in the vein of The Decemberists or Mirah or The Thermals. If you’ve been reading us, you may be thinking Lifesavas or Gouseion (you music-savvy devil, you). If you don’t read any of those things and don’t really care about music, maybe you think of Portland as a hippie outpost or a scag den. I have no defense for the former, but the latter now has a soundtrack courtesy one of its own: Welcome to the world of Saturna, where drugs and swirling guitars and Spiritualized are all part of the repertoire.

 You never know what you’re going to get when people send you their music. Sometimes it’s a dude with a four-track and a six-string at home singing about his ex-girlfriends; other times it’s Educated Consumers. Vocalist n’ guitarist Ryan Carroll was coy enough to suggest that I might be interested in his band given how much I constantly rave about A Sunny Day in Glasgow and Cyann & Ben and My Bloody Valentine and pretty soon you’ll be hearing about A Place to Bury Strangers also. Michael and Dave would not have fallen for this as easily, but what can I say? Words just don’t matter to me unless you’re Frank Turner or Beans on Toast.

Carroll understands that, and in turn I understand that words are emphatically not at the center of Some Delicious Enemy. This is a grand, epic-sounding album… But it has very little to do with the words. For better or worse, the group knows how to put guitars at the fore of the mix. Shortly: It pays handsome dividends. In the best traditions of somebody like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Spacemen 3 or even Deerhunter as of late, Saturna build sonic monuments out of reverb and delay, crushing cymbals and elephantine roars. But unlike a Lush or a Chapterhouse, you can understand what Carroll’s saying most of the time. But when a harmony is as pleasing as “Much More,” who cares what he’s saying? At the end of the day, it’s not so much about the words as it is about the music.

Okay, so the dead horse has been sufficiently flogged by now. Let’s talk about some choons: First single “Pop Rocks” is what it is because, perhaps more than any other song on this album, you can hear something like The Brian Jonestown Massacre in here. It’s a little garage, a little psych, a lot of throwback, but it’s also the album’s outright weakest song. It does, however, possess the same lineage as the rest of the album; when listened to as a whole, Some Delicious Enemy works it in seamlessly. That’s one of the best parts of this album. Everything goes together so well, and not because every song sounds the same. There are definite differences in tone from “Fall” and “Chasing the Unpredictable,” but the way the quartet comes across never has you wondering why this was included in the final tracklisting, or why they tried to do that with a perfectly good solo. It’s loose, fluid and consistently strong as a direct result of not trying to sound too much like any one progenitor. They just happen to come together at the apex of all their influences in the best possible way.

This band sounds like it’s got a healthy helping of the spirit of Saturn in it. Celestial interludes mingle with psych-rock freak-outs mix with white torrents of noise mix with pleasant, poppy choruses. And if you’re into heroin, you should probably be listening to Saturna. Psychedelics worshippers also welcomed. I feel like I listened to a thousand of these albums during my stint in college radio, but Saturna stick out to me now not just because of their circumspect solos but also because of the inherent strength in the structures of songs like “Periwinkle.” Deep beneath the haze of amplified guitars and relentlessly powerful drums of Matt Badger, there are innocent pop songs. Saturna understand perhaps better than their influences right now (Seriously, did you hear Baby 81?) that you cannot build a musical monolith without strong foundations. That is what makes Some Delicious Enemy so incredibly appealing.

http://audiversity.com/2007/08/saturna-some-delicious-enemy.html

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