Portland’s Standing On Satellites was born from the ashes of a bitter break-up of one of Portland’s best up-and-coming post-hardcore outfits, Verah Falls. Vocalist, Craig Prater, was kicked out of the band shortly after the band finished recording their final EP, Century. With a situation like that, one would want closure. Of course, I’m sure he asked himself “Why did they do this to me after all I’ve done for them?” but, rather than make a massive public spectacle about it, he decided to remain quiet and get another band together. The result was Standing On Satellites, consisting of members who have/were gone/going through the exact same situation. Their motto? Pretty simple: “We are Standing On Satellites! This is a movement, are you with us?” I can tell you from experience that the difference between Verah Falls final EP, Century and SOS’s debut EP, Closure/Collapse is monumental. The first taste we got of this was a track that featured Myka, Relocate’s Michael Swank, “Baring Bones”.
It’s all-too-common a thing for a member to start a band, simply out of spite, to try and show up their former bandmates. A prime example would be the feud that was going on between ISSUES and Woe, Is Me for quite some time. However, SOS was formed to give hope to this generation, to not only create music but start a movement and to let the masses know they are not alone. From the time you start this EP to the end, you will be thrown into the emotional wringer. While that rage from what happened is clearly there, it’s not something that is a focal point to the music that you’re hearing. “I still have hope left at the end of all this” is a line you hear in the aforementioned track, “Baring Bones”. It shows just how strong these individuals are and, even though they do (and may always) harbor that rage towards what happened.. they know that it’s better to move on and forget about it.
Evidence of that would certainly be most prominent on the following track, “I Against I”. “But if it’s all for nothing, then why am I still here? There must be a reason I keep pushing forward. Can you tell that I’ve been losing sleep over the weight of the world on my shoulders? I don’t mind that I lost everything, it’s just the thought of failing that really gets to me.” That statement shows just how maturely the situation has been handled and then we hear “It’s only the beginning! No, this is not the end! It’s only the beginning” later in the track. These guys aren’t going to let the past define their future and it’s a statement saying that neither should the listener. Yes, you’re going to think about the past and, maybe, even dwell on it from time to time. However, you can’t let it define you because everything you go through is designed to make sure that you are molded into the person that you were meant to be. Without the trials we face in our daily lives, the pain, the heartache, the rage… we would not learn from the mistakes that are made. Instead, we have to learn to push forward and look for that bright light on the horizon.
One of my favorite tracks is the most emotional, “When In Rome” which features Laryssa Birdseye, another very talented female musician out of Portland. This is one of those “I promise you” types of tracks but it has a theatric sound to it that reels you in and won’t let you go. Two lovers feel like this is it… they have found their soul mates in one another and never want it to end. So, she asks him to promise that he will never let her go. Knowing he has a life out on the road and how hard it will be for them both, he still manages to make this promise. “I know that I’m not perfect and this is a lot to ask: Will you take my hand and never let me go?” He is letting her know that he knows that mistakes could be made but that he will do all in his power to make sure that he keeps it, as does she.
The final track, “Revision: Regret” is a track stating that it’s okay to feel sad, alone and broken. However, it is also letting you know that music will always be there for you. Someone will always be there to sing and let you know that everything will be okay. We see evidence of that every day with bands like The Amity Affliction, The Color Morale, ISSUES, Beartooth and so many more. Music is the one thing that will always be there, even if no one else is. Standing On Satellites is vowing that they will be one of those bands throughout their tenure as musicians.
SOS is, quite honestly, one of the most honest, impressive and outright talented bands that I’ve heard in the post-hardcore genre in a LONG time. Collectively, they have created music that will definitely stand the test of time, be there when you’re feeling your lowest. Just know that SOS, and music in general, will always be there. You might not always have that “Closure”… but they will make sure you don’t “Collapse”. Be sure to pick up Closure/Collapse on iTunes or directly through the band on tour… you won’t regret it!
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