Sakes Alive!! - Act II [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sakes Alive!!

Act II [7 inch] (2009)


Sakes Alive!! has deliberately been releasing trios of tracks with each passing year. Act II is the band's latest, and it's a solid fit. While it still isn't as hook-filled as the band's "Presents" demo, and missing the epic atmospheres of last year's Act I 7", it's got a more caustic, somewhat experimental rage that would lead me to rank it second among the band's three releases thus far.

"The Open Maw" opens with that deceiving lo-fi trick before exploding through speakers in a fury of Chris Vandeviver's scratchy yowling and big, filthy guitars. There's a bit of a rock 'n' roll vibe at hand, but not to the level that I'd say it sounds like the Bronx, a comparison I've heard getting oddly tossed around. Like I mentioned in my Act I review, the band isn't as readily comparable to Glass and Ashes or Challenger, but it leans closer to that territory, since this is still ambitious, glass shard-ridden punk/post-hardcore.

Distinct lead guitars are one of the EP's strongest points, and they're ever-present in all three cuts, but especially effective in the slightly erratic push-pull of closer "Image of Modern Man." There's a "chorus" in this one where it shifts moods rather suddenly, seemingly to build some tension, and you can't help but get psyched; but unfortunately, the song doesn't hit that emotional climax you expect it to. Maybe the band will find it on later songs.

While there's a certain something missing that remains to be heard, Act II is another very good entry in Sakes Alive!!'s teasing catalogue.

Act II 7"