"Mosaic of Sleepers"

(ReSTART Records 2003)Siva - Mosaic of Sleepers

Siva's thrashing and disjointed sound isn't far off from Thursday or even At The Drive-In or Sparta -- curiously, two bands that both include Jim Ward, who is also the co-owner of Siva's label, ReStart Records. Like screamo without the screaming, Siva seem more apologetic and desirous of being alone, to escape the world, than hateful.

Early tracks, like "Marcus Garvey," have the melody of a Trail of Dead song without the over the top arrogance or self-important demand for attention. With "Groovebox," the band tries to add just that -- a groove that makes the song have a dreamy feel despite the up and down jumps of the tempo. Keeping the dreamy tone and adding it to a mish mash of sounds, the drums on "Honesty Lacks" don't allow you to get too comfortable. The, questionably, long intro on "Lost City Found" is the first really interesting riff of the album and allows the band to uses repetition to their advantage in both the instrumentation and the lyrics.

With "Mosaic of Sleepers," everything comes and goes. Nothing is steady, as the band demonstrates on "Marooned" -- as heavier riffs join out of nowhere and leave just as quickly for the distinctive break. The dreaminess subsiding, Siva returns to their original disjointed thrashing sound and add in a political flair. "Question a nation/Where does loyalty lie/Fall short of addiction/Labor protects nothing/Making enemies out of dust/Hope can be the worst thing/In life, if it dies," vocalist Gregg Sosa sings on "Cradle." The Biblical allusion of "Pilot" stands out in an attempt to say something more. "The bonding of wood and skin/Pilot never had it this hard," Sosa assures you on the catchy tune. Oddly, the only lyrics absent from the linear notes are those of the final two songs. "Train Song" offers a bit of variety from the rest of the album, although a bit late, as "Eye Gifts" is a pleasant way to close.

While Siva's disjointed sound is only mildly similar to abstract painter Jackson Pollock (who could possibly have been the inspiration for the second song, "Pollock"), Siva offer a solid debut. The overall album is more than enough to grab you and get better with repeated plays -- and that makes them well worth keeping an eye on.


buy it!