Menu | Rating System | Guest Book
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
(Older reviews archived alphabetically by artist name.)

  Saturday Looks Good to Me  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

Towards the end of summer 2003, I reviewed All Your Summer Songs, the latest studio album by Detroit band Saturday Looks Good to Me. I was very ambivalent about that release, primarily because my only previous experience with Saturday Looks Good to Me had been a concert played by a stripped-down, three member version of the band, and I was consequently outraged by the two primary differences between their live and recorded personas. First off, as a live band Saturday Looks Good to Me were a fractured blend of early garage and rockabilly whereas on the album they came across as slightly twee. More importantly, I found it upsetting that band leader and songwriter Fred Thomas did not sing on most of the album, while I had found his somewhat off-kilter, drawling vocals one of the best parts of their live show.

Anyway, since that time, I've come to peace with the recordings of Saturday Looks Good to Me. Even with the reservation listed above, I must confess that the music is solid and the lyrics are strong. So, I was indeed excited to receive this three song EP, available exclusively via Polyvinyl Records mail order.

Guess what? This time around, Saturday Looks Good to Me sounds almost exactly like the live band I heard last summer. And that, my friends, is a very very good thing.

Opening track Diary begins with Fred Thomas singing over a bouncy, staccato drum and guitar-oriented pop melody. However, once the band reaches the chorus, the melody starts to swoop as Thomas croons out, "Somehow, I don't think you'll be there if I fall. Write it all down in your diary." Then the song's key modulates, and the band repeats the same structure again before ending somewhat abruptly. It doesn't sound like much, but the relative simplicity comes as a great relief after the extensively produced tracks on All Your Summer Songs.

The next song, When You Go Out Tonight, has a 1950s-esque sound that wouldn't be out of place in a haunted basement. Although the song is fleshed out by a horn section and organ, the primary focus is the reverbed guitars and vocals, again by Thomas. Slightly slower than one might expect and with some creepy lyrics to boot, the song in and of itself isn't as outstanding as much of Saturday Looks Good to Me's material is. However, as a recording, it has nice pacing, and fits in nicely with musical tone of the other two songs on the EP.

The final track is definitely the best. Sounding like a flashback to the early Motown days, Girl of Mine is a "shimmy around the room while dancing" kind of song. With a fast, cymbal-heavy drumbeat, the song is again fronted by Thomas's yelling vocals which echo the melody as laid out by the saxophone. Furthermore, when the vocals end and the band goes into the ending instrumental portion, it all sounds clean and crisp, even down to the final horn squeal.

Then the EP is over, ending prior to the 7 minute mark. And I'm left thinking, "Ah, that's more like it." Of course, if you're one of the people who absolutely adored All Your Summer Songs, I'm not sure what you'll think of this EP. But, in my case, it was a relief to realize that this band is capable of sounding like I remembered.

Related Links:

All Your Summer Songs by Saturday Looks Good To Me
Live 2003 by Saturday Looks Good To Me


Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.