The reggae that Satori plays starts off from the first kick of the drums. “Celebration” is a slow-tempo track that really hides a barely-masked intensity, created most by the bass and horns on the track. The slower tempo of the disc allows the technicality of the band to shine through properly, but there is no driving beat in the first section of the disc that really makes people want to listen to “Savor Every Moment”. Satori finally has a hit more than a third into the disc, during “I Know”. The differing time signatures present on this track, alongside a fairly pop-influenced sound, really make this track shine. “Karen’s Dub” comes up to the plate in a strong way, coupling the emotive bass lines present with the shrillness of the horns to provide for an interesting instrumental track.
The sixties-influenced sound of “Once Upon A Time” draws equal parts from the boy-bands of the sixties just as much as it does from the earliest days of ska. Everything is restrained throughout this disc, and while this might be more formally correct, this has the effect of creating a barrier to block listeners from getting closer to the band. “Savor Every Moment” may be only half an hour long, but the extremely slow pace of the disc (even in the more uptempo tracks, like “Wise Up”) really starts to wind down listeners, making it feel twice as long. Paradoxically, it is the instrumental tracks, instead of the vocal ones that provide listeners with the greatest amount of personality on “Savor Every Moment”. Aside “Karen’s Dub”, “Move!” is another one of these tracks, shining well above the average provided by the rest of the disc. “Don’t Hide” has a luster to it that refuses to stop shining even with the molasses-slow tempo provided it by the band; the soulful vocals on the track seem alien to “Savor Every Moment”.
“Savor Every Moment” is a disc that is firmly planted in ska and reggae, but cannot recreate the explosive soul that really made the original waves of ska such a revolutionary force in worldwide music. Satori seems to draw on the stoner vibe of Sublime, and this unholy fusion without an extension beyond these styles (stoner and ska) makes for a muddled, muffled, slow mess out of “Savor Every Moment”. Perhaps this act will come to proper fruition when the band coalesces into a more coherent act.
Top Tracks: Wise Up, Karen’s Dub
Satori – Savor Every Moment / 2005 Asian Man / 11 Tracks / http://www.satoriband.net / http://www.asianmanrecords.com / Reviewed 16 May 2005