Self-Saboteur describes their self-titled EP Self-Saboteur as a pu-pu platter of their songwriting styles. After taking a listen I have to agree. The EP indulges in different ideas and in doing so gives you a sense that you really aren’t sure what type of music this band makes. Under the broad umbrella of rock the band delves into several different styles and doesn’t commit to any.
The EP starts with “Hip Sister” which is one of the highlights. There are elements of garage rock with a tinge of funk. The lyrics in these songs are unpretentious fun. There was some thought behind them and they tell a story. The vocalist sings, “I saw you again for the first time since then way back when all the girls had boyfriends White stripe bricks and your big callus ink pens sitting in the corner, waiting for class to end.” I think the best line was when he mentions a “Husker Du lunchbox.”
“The Commuter” is a solid track with elements of hard and classic rock. It’s a pretty straightforward song with some heavy lead guitar.
“The Interpretation of Dreams” is where things start to feel different. There is a distinct ‘80s vibe that felt aligned with a band like Queensryche. It sounds like an ‘80s ballad which isn’t a bad thing but felt odd when placed in succession to the previous songs. “Out From Under” has more of an ‘80s vibe from the production but is more aligned with prog rock. I think it was the organ/keyboard that really gave it that feel. All things considered ““Out From Under” is a catchy song.
The piano led ballad “Be Careful” was another solid song but felt like it stood alone in terms of aesthetics when compared to the other songs. Like the other songs the lyrics are a high point. The song revolves around a volatile relationship and is the most heartfelt of the five songs. He sings, “I gotta be careful with this one she likes to play subtle games she feeds me my fetish fuel and she's wont to stray I've seen this movie before it always ends the same way with the man that she's stringing along cursing my name.”
Self-Saboteur has it moments. It’s far from perfect but is a pleasurable listen.
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