This was a nice surprise from 2016 that many probably slept on. I mean, who really cares about the “cult” band Saetia? Well apparently, Jeremy Bolm does, and thanks to his hard work and Secret Voice label, he has gathered the entire discography of the band (minus the live recordings) and put it out on vinyl for those diehards that need more than just digital copies. For a long while, it has been very difficult to get your hands on Saetia’s limited catalogue of music on vinyl. With this release, fans can now drop the needle down on their very own collection, and jam some awesome mid 90’s screamo.
Just to briefly touch on the band, Saetia existed from 1997 to 2000 and in that short time helped establish a niche genre in the punk community which everyone should know about by now since it’s 2017. However, for those just discovering the rabbit hole that is punk, Saetia are a good starting point.
Saetia’s music, as stated in the wonderful retrospective liner notes by lead singer Billy Werner, was made by close friends who all loved punk and the local scene. Lyrically this is not Shakespeare, nor was it trying to be. Honestly and youthfulness are what you get here and to have it any other way would be a detriment to the collection.
In later years, certain “cult” bands tend to reunite and sometimes release new music. If the stars align correctly, the music might turn out great! However, in some cases it is more like a wet fart… Saetia came and went in flash it seems and over time, they have gained more fans than ever before. They have never reunited and in turn, have not blemished their legacy. That’s just how some cult bands do. Same can be said for acts like Botch, Orchid, Fugazi, and Joy Division. The music lives forever.
Now as for the package itself, you get a nice treat here. The music is on double black vinyl at 180 grams. Never has this music sounded so clear. The records are very solid and there is no surface noise, which is great when you jam their older material like the cassette demo on Side-D. The artwork is muted and minimalistic, to the point really. Inside are several black and white photos along with show flyers that show amazing lineups you would never have expected to happen. The most important part of the package, besides the lyrics, are the liner notes from Billy as well as guitarist Adam Marino, and bassist Colin Bartoldus. Members talk on their history with the band, and what is was like to be touring and playing shows at such young ages. Billy’s reflections on the passing of their friend and original bassist Alex Madara, is touching and shows how close nit these kids were.
Without an act like Saetia you wouldn’t have Touché Amoré. Jeremy Bolm acknowledges this and did everyone a solid by putting this out. If you are caught up in the current scene that uses the words “Screamo” or “Skramz” then do yourself a favor and shut that stuff off and listen to this little band from New York that, like I always say, did it better. Dig it…
(*note* on the original Retrospective release from Level
Plane, at the very end was a live set at the ABC No Rio in spring 1999. Secret
Voice decided to keep the collection pure with just their studio output and the
live at Rio set is released separately on Cassette from Secret Voice.)