Sakes Alive!! is a treat. While their style will undoubtedly pull in fans of hardcore in general, they offer an extra spark that will attract metalcore and generic alternative rock fans as well. When I say “extra spark”, I pretty much just mean a couple impressive metal riffs tangled throughout their debut EP, “Presents”. The sound is generally melodic, but heavy. The liner notes claims they’ve only got one guitarist, Chris Vandeviver, doubling as a vocalist, but the combination of melodic riffs and fast-paced strumming makes it hard to believe there’s only one dude doing all of that. The sound remains mid to fast-tempo with a lack of breakdowns or any change of pace, pushing quickly through the three-song demo in seven minutes. They do a good job of mixing music styles, so that they’re not weighing too heavy on either the alternative rock, hardcore, or metal platforms. It will be interesting to see which direction their next couple albums head.
The lyrics are impressive, obviously Vaneviver took his time playing with words and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s got some poetry classes under his belt. So even if you don’t appreciate the music, at least admit that this man can creatively rely his messages. His subject matter deals with worry and confusion about the future, loneliness, superficiality, and cutting tension – all with an empowering edge. There are also a few “Hey, Hey, Hey”s thrown in for a nice punk twist. The sound reminds me of Incommudicado, Crime in Stereo, Dillinger Four, and Olympia.