Why it’s time for a new Saosin album—even if it means no Circa Survive for a while

June 12, 2014 by Matt Crane

Why it’s time for a new Saosin album—even if it means no Circa Survive for a while

To Saosin fans, the very idea of Anthony Green reuniting with the band was nothing more than a fairytale delusion, yet here we are, and the delusion has become reality. We’ve gone from essentially having no Saosin—compliments of their musical hibernation after kicking out Cove Reber in 2010—to having Saosin in its most desired form. So far, the band’s reunion with Green has proven to be a major success. People still care. It’s almost like all those online commenters screeching “Bring back Anthony!” whom we dismissed as trolls stuck living in the past, have all been validated in some weird way. Wait, the message board kids were right? This is how it was supposed to be all along?

As a band, Saosin have had a strange existence. Their 2003 EP, Translating The Name—their only release to feature Green—is coveted by fans, and rightfully so. It’s truly a classic and an innovative cornerstone of the post-hardcore genre. Even though the group would go on to release two full-lengths without Green, fans never truly let go of that personified idea of the band. When Saosin brought in Green’s replacement, Cove Reber, it was civil war among fans. What was so strange about the backlash against Reber was that he actually was the perfect vocal replacement for Green. When he sent in his audition demo for the band (a re-recording of “Mookie’s Last Christmas”), he sounded so much like Green, they thought it was their former singer playing a prank on them. Even stranger, the band’s self-titled full-length with Reber is pretty much universally loved by everyone. While “Seven Years” is still the go-to battle-cry, songs like “Voices” and “You’re Not Alone” have become classics in their own right. One would assume the success of Saosin would’ve been enough for fans to relinquish their grip on Green—but it wasn’t.

Seeing the band onstage with Green again at their Philadelphia reunion show was quite the sight: The sound was prime, the chemistry was there and the members seemed legitimately happy, like brothers reunited. The new song they brought along with them is a masterpiece, begging to be recorded, mastered, marketed and distributed in the packaging of a new Saosin LP. The track is tried and true Saosin: post-hardcore luster mixed with a newfound, bumping, anthemic urgency. The tight execution of their live performance and the excitement of the new song further highlight the importance of the band in this incarnation. With Reber as a frontman, Saosin sometimes lacked as a live band. His stage presence came off as unenthused and sluggish (a common complaint of many fans). Also, the band’s sophomore LP, In Search Of Solid Ground, exhibited a number of growing pains between the band and Reber. The chemistry just wasn’t there anymore.

Saosin are now at the perfect point to launch into a new, revived era of their career. It’s the optimal time for a new full-length album with Green. But for this to happen, Circa Survive would have to be put on hold. Yes, the argument can be made that a good frontman can lead two successful projects, but it’s not ideal. There’s a reason why after Craig Owens rejoined Chiodos, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows ended almost immediately. A band of that caliber requires the full attention of the singer. Between his solo music, Circa Survive and being a parent, the room just isn’t there for Green to carry the weight of something as big as Saosin (if he’s willing to do it). That’s why, perhaps after the release of their new LP, Circa should be put on hold for a while, so Green can focus on Saosin. I love Circa Survive as much as the next fan, but we’ve had four Circa albums (plus the new one that’s already recorded), and I’m willing to put that on hold for Green and Saosin to take a shot at something new. I would assume most fans are willing. While Circa are very near and dear to our hearts, more than 10 years later, we’re all still talking about Translating The Name.

If the group do decide to make another album, it has to be handled right. Saosin could still very well be best on a major label. This release would be a big deal. It’s evident that both the band and Green may not be very open to that idea (made apparent by Circa’s independent status and Saosin’s split with Capitol/Virgin), but even a larger indie label could handle the release well. Putting out new music through a Kickstarter and treating the band as a part-time project would just be a waste of an insanely large opportunity. A new Saosin release deserves the full treatment.

At the end of the day, we unconditionally love Anthony Green as a vocalist and would probably listen to him fronting just about anything. He could be announced tomorrow as the new singer of Breaking Benjamin, and we’d all probably be onboard. (I can already picture the tweets of this bizarre alternate reality: “Actually, this is a surprisingly good fit for him. Screw the haters.”) Saosin’s music—with and without Green—will always be cherished. But why not give this a shot again? Why not bring the magic of Translating The Name to a modern music scene that needs it so badly? It’s time for Saosin to blow us away once more. It’s time for the band to reclaim what’s rightfully theirs.

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circa survive anthony green saosin reunion op-ed cove reber

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