EP Review: SAAVIK - Self-Titled

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There’s a pre-conceived notion that Miami is all about Latin pop and dance music, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The vibrant city has a strong, underground indie scene that pulls influence from garage rock, punk rock, heavy metal, and industrial. They also have SAAVIK, a supergroup of players who come from some of Miami’s most influential acts and takes all these different influences and mixes them into one 4-song, concept EP that plays like a sci-fi soundtrack dripping in ideas of falling down, discovering who you are, finding a path to becoming a new you, and ultimately becoming that person. They open with “He’s Dead Jim,” an epic 7-minute song that carries a big sound within its atmospheric tilt and distorted feel, but around the halfway point this intriguingly turns the page and moves into a pounding rhythm and lo-fi guitars to give us a noise punk type of jam that feels like an entirely new song smashing into the other. As we progress forward into “Meld” and “Horizon,” they walk a similar path to the first half of “He’s Dead Jim,” with each tracks moodiness steadily building to a crash at about the midway point to drive the song home. Though neither of these two songs dives into the noise punk jam, they both do reach a noticeable climax that shifts the song into its closing notes. “Red Sun,” the shortest track at 4 minutes and 33 seconds, wraps up the EP with an imperial stomp type of drive that interestingly leans on cleaner guitars and the sole placement of the rawness in the vocals to fill the gaps, prior to the chorus slapping us with their signature distortion to dig into your senses. Each song is designed to add another piece to the overall puzzle and provide the atmosphere for that portion of the story. This is trippy and oddly unique, but also achieves exactly what the band was going for in that it’s off center vibes build an incredible story arc from start to finish.

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