(Phratry Records 2007)Säh - 06/06

It could be that Michigan's Säh is only vaguely aware of what they are doing. It could be that all of the sounds on "06/06," the band's third release, are completely random, like the collision of molecules that only people with Super Vision are able to see. Yeah, that could be, but probably not. It's undoubtedly me who just doesn't understand the album, and in my haze of ignorance sees a record in which the musicians tried to cover up a lack of songwriting ability with musical prowess.

The five song, sixty minute "06/06" isn't bad, technically, but it's constructed in such a way as to feel like one song; one long, plodding, chore of a song to listen to. The main problem is that there is just too much going on. Jam band freak-outs? Check. Shoegaze droning? Check. Math-metal-ish angles? Check. Hard rock riffing? Check. I might be belaboring the point a bit, but it's hard to get around the notion that Säh put every possible influence and idea into the album, with no editorial filter and little regard for how the sum of so many parts would actually sound. One thing they mercifully kept to a minimum was vocals, because when they kick in, we are treated to some truly awful singing. Just drop the vocals altogether guys, it's no big deal. It could be that the dudes in Pelican may also be completely atonal; it doesn't stop them from making killer instrumental albums.

It's a shame that this record is so tough to listen to; Säh clearly has the chops to make some good music. The guitar work, while disjointed, is generally good, and the drumming is impressive. "06/06" actually starts to coalesce a bit by the last two tracks, showing promise for future albums. Säh would do well to refine their talent into tighter, more focused songs and not cram every musical impulse into their next record. But if they continue to binge, we'll have to continue to purge.


buy it!