Nebraska is home to two specific things: the invention of Kool-Aid, and the six-piece Christian/metalcore group Saints and Poets. While they describe themselves as “six young men from different walks of life,” their sound is far from diverse. In fact, much like their “Kool-Aid capital” notoriety, resembling nothing more than watered-down, flavored sugar.
As ear-piercing, guitar feedback pushes you into the leading track, “What You’re Reaping,” the band shows promise, wasting no time diving head first into full, aggressive vocals and machine-like drum fills.
Unfortunately, it quickly falls off the cliff before there’s any real momentum. The genuine lack of a core rhythm gives the track a choppy feel and the sporadic changes in vocal styles leave me feeling overwhelmed and confused.
“The New Disaster” follows closely in track one’s footsteps, this time with a sludgy, heavier lead-in but with the same indiscernible, aggressive vocals. It’s so disjointed, it feels like five different EPs in one song.
As the album should be hitting its stride, we approach the eponymous track for this five-song EP, “Walk On Water.” It seems to restore faith in the band, a false hope brought to reality: The first twenty-two seconds are the best part of the song. The drums continue to sound plastic and the vocals are blatantly pitchy while buried underneath the instruments.
“Running Away” has such a lack of conviction, I had to check my own pulse. The opening line, “Oh no!” had about as much emotion as a pet rock, and the effects on the vocals don’t do it any favors. The bad production quality really strings up the noose, as there is a constant struggle to hear the vocals muddled beneath the guitars.
However beautiful the endings for each track seem to be, they’re not enough to carry the EP. Rather than putting their own spin on the genre, Saints and Poets seems to be trying too hard to replicate themselves into a cliché. With some more experience, this band will learn to make wiser creative decisions.