By: Eric Greenwood
Saso's Warmed Up EP looks like a piece of bubblegum with its light pink and baby blue artwork, but it sounds like a slowly shifting mass, comprised of warm analogue textures. The atmosphere is sparse with steady, unobtrusive percussion and stark guitars. Spoken word samples infiltrate "I'll Be The Judge Of That." The vocals are off-putting at first as strained harmonies that sound distantly related to either Squeeze's Paul Carrack or maybe even Don Henley float over the serous melodies.
On "A Lesson Learnt" the vocals are more commanding- this time without the hint of derivation. The bass is thick and thudding, contrasting sharply with the cutting sound of the guitars. The tempos are consistently slow- even plodding, but as downbeat as the music seems there is an inherent sense of hope throughout. "Numbskull"'s opening riff may recall Radiohead in its notation, but the ensuing build-up travels down a completely different road. Keyboards swallow the guitar/bass interplay half way through the song, but it slowly picks up where it left off only to fade into nothing.
The piano in "All My Life" sounds tense until the intertwining guitars chime in. The music is gradual and achingly beautiful. The falsetto vocals are the highlight of the EP, making up for some of the distracting harmonies in earlier songs. Coming in just under twenty minutes Warmed Up is a bit of a misnomer; Saso barely has a chance to say anything much less be adequately warmed up.