Written By: Fletcher Bonin
SATE’s debut album begins with the song ‘Warrior’ features lead female vocals bellowing the words “you’re gonna know my name!” into the microphone accompanied by righteous guitar riffs and full drum kit solos. The album, RedBlack&Blue is more of a war cry or a call to arms than anything else. This is about as rock gets to metal without donning chain-mail and face paint. It is truly SATE’s wavering and sultry vocals that save the group from crossing over this boundary. She seems to channel the likes of Jimi Hendrix in her delivery, showcasing a tremendous and confident boundless range. But don’t get me wrong, SATE is in nobody’s shadow, and in fact, as seen in the first song, she is determined to make a name for herself one way or another. Nevertheless, Toronto native SATE’s impassioned musical presence garnered her album the epithet of most anticipated release of the year in her home city. SATE’s name is derived from the definition of something being desired or quenched in full. This comes through in each and every one of the ten tracks on the album, each one more primal and carnal than the last.
SATE’s style harkens back to rock and rolls heyday, her vocals adding a modern twist to complex lyrical schemes. My favorite track off the release is ‘Live on Your Love’ on which she sings, “when push comes to shove I could live on your love.” This song rocks out as harder as the others, but I found the lyrical theme to be most classically within the genre, which I appreciated given the general decline of this style within the industry.
I also very much enjoyed the track ‘Mama Talk to Me’, as her vocals are altered in a way that gives them a boxy, pleasing sound reminiscent of the Black Keys.
On the other end of the spectrum, the track ‘The Answer’ is much softer in comparison to the other tracks, though still replete with the expected power of blues-rock.
This is exactly the opposite of easy-listening music. This is the music of locker rooms before a championship game, blasting in the headphones of a jackhammer operator on a noisy city street, the soundtrack to an episode of Sons of Anarchy. SATE’s music is not for the faint of heart, and there is certainly a time and place for it to be throbbing through your bones. SATE is rock and rolls past, present, and perhaps even its future.
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