I wasn’t expecting anything special when I strolled on over to Osaka trio Saritote’s web page. I just wanted to check them out as they are playing at a show tonight featuring √thumm and Lady Flash. Harmless research, ya know? Anyway, the first two tracks I listened to failed to leave much of an impression on me and I contemplated jumping over to one of my other tabs. A Hamburger Today needs my attention. Yet two songs remained, and they warranted a shot.
Woo boy glad I stuck around.
Saritote’s “River” and “Runner” completely caught me unprepared. These twin tracks aren’t just good, they are damn fine slices of emotionally rich rock music in the mold of late-90’s outfit American Football. The only major change is that Saritote incorporate dreamy touches to their music, like the bell-like melody twinkling through the hazy “Runner.” The group’s other strong suite is the vocals, which are allowed to show their emotional side courtesy of little tics here and there, downtrodden bends. Yet in terms of inner purging, “River” wins huge. The most America Football sounding of the four songs available here, what with it’s guitar-centric buildup, climaxes with a nearly hollered refrain (“why don’t you stay!”) where the lead singer’s voice carries a gruff, wanting-to-explode quality that gets held down enough to make it all the more painful. By now you might be saying “this sounds awfully emo” and maybe it is. But remember that’s just shorthand for “emotional” and the best bands in that vaguely-defined universe know how to really tap into such inner distress. Add Saritote to that list.