Saturnine Pleasure of Ruins

New York City's Saturnine makes the kind of music you put on a mix-tape for the new girl you just met at a party. Singer Matt Gallaway has a voice that speaks for all of the shy boys who are afraid to talk to just about anybody. Even their bio reads as some kind of communication breakdown, with a history of problems that include long-time guitarist Jennifer Baron leaving the band just before this record was made. Luckily the loss doesn't seem to have hurt the band and may have even made them stronger. Recorded by Steve Albini, Pleasure of Ruins, the band's fifth album, is a very intimate and innocent look into the band's life. The songs are just heavy enough to avoid being labelled twee and light enough to avoid an emo tag. The majority of the album sees Gallaway shift between fast and slow paces, though his vocal style never seems to change. However, when the finale, "When I am a Boatman," comes in, you see a little bit of his sadness in this heart-wrenching tale of a fisherman. As the band says themselves, this record isn't going to change your life, but if you sit down away from the world, you will enjoy yourself. (Motorcoat)