Saskwatch, Nose Dive – Album review

saskwatch nose diveWith a collection of songs that sound like they could be performed on Sesame Street, Melbourne-based band Saskwatch have gotten a whole lot cuter with their latest full-length release.

The album’s first single, Born to Break Your Heart is a deliciously colourful track, the reverb on the vocals during the prechorus really gives the song a feeling of space, progression and intrigue that I wanted to hear from all the songs on Nosedive. The block piano chords, echoed by lightly phased guitar of the same chord, is a really cool trick too – the little turnaround at the end of each progression leads into the chorus really nicely.

The chorus of this track is lovely; the horn section’s long, easy blows sound to be laying comfy bedding for the vocal and piano lines to frolic around each other, maybe having a pillow fight.

Nosedive is an undeniably derivative album, but Saskwatch have made a name for themselves by being fun, not different and there’s nothing wrong with that outside the confines of personal taste. Having said this, the record does contain a number of cool intricacies, like the ear-catching percussion in Keep Me in Mind and the bass/clap break in Hands. The horn section’s role is played out very effectively throughout the record as well, adding their own flavour on most of the tracks.

One sure issue I have with this record is that the band’s use of dynamics are often not as creative as could have been, especially considering Saskwatch are definitely a kickass live band. The album’s opener Give Me a Reason is a great example of this as the only change between verse and intro is that the guitars are pulled away when the vocals enter. Second verse, same as the first and I’m thinking ‘Surely a nine-piece band are capable of mixing things up a little more than this… these trumpet solos are pretty mad but.’ As I listened through the album I found this wasn’t an isolated motif as tracks Is It True? and Call Your Name simply pull away sections when they could be progressing musically as well. The musicians seem to be timidly stepping in and out of frame instead of doing something different once they’ve had the limelight for a spell.

Although I don’t certainly don’t hate this record, the reasons I don’t think it’s that great are probably the same reasons the band have become quite successful, so what the fuck do I know really? This is friendly, PG13 music guys, great to dance to but quite fluffy at times. The kind of stuff you might put on at a children’s party you were arbitrarily invited to. Why are you there tho? Hang with ppl your own age plz. Allow me to sum this up and out by saying if I was watching Saskwatch perform this record live I would absolutely enjoy myself and cop a boogie, but this is not the kind of music I would be excited to show my friends.

james booker


Review by James Jamhound Booker.