House of Saturn continues to explore their musical DNA with new single, “Waster”

House of Saturn’s latest single, ‘Waster’, reveals a band coming to grips with its identity or musical DNA in a “post-ironic” world.

The song’s beginning coaxes the listener into an 80s trance with a synthesizer that sounds painfully aware of what it sounds like as if it’s poking fun at itself. 

“Whereas in postmodern irony, something is meant to be cynically mocked and not taken seriously, and in New Sincerity, something is meant to be taken seriously or “unironically”, post-irony combines these two elements by either having something absurd taken seriously or be unclear as to whether something is meant to be ironic.[10] – Post-irony. (2023, March 23). In Wikipedia.

What makes the band and this track so interesting is the amount of musical terrain they explore throughout the five and a half minutes, and it is through this absorption of different styles that the band has managed to obfuscate whether they are sincere with their 80s synth or not. Whether done consciously or not, it is a side-effect of living in this current cultural state of post-information. Aptly named “Waster”, all we hapless bystanders can do is feel helpless and not in control. 

The listener is pushed in a different direction when the guitar begins and even more so when Jessica Bowen’s vocals kick in. Bowen’s melodies are striking in that they do not soar above the instruments; they are not quintessential 80s; everything from the melody line to the lyrics screams mundane, which is not meant negatively, as it seems that’s exactly what she set out to do in the first place. 

Sourced from House of Saturn’s Bandcamp page.

The song title is simplistic yet definitive, as if “waster” is a pejorative social class made to designate those who do not contribute anything meaningful to society.

I really took a liking to this band initially when I heard their first single, “Sugar of Lead” (which is worlds apart from this new song) because they genuinely do seem alone in their current musical journey. While most local bands are typically paired and categorized among others with similar traits and will frequently do shows together, it seems that House of Saturn are alone on their musical journey. 

The artwork for the single is a diametric collage featuring a college student (possibly Rutgers University?) on one side, whose body seems to be writhing in pain. The college student that is suspended in motion is looking towards the astronaut and seems to long for its help. There is a clear divide between the two, representing two very different worlds: one which represents reality, and the other which could represent a dream world that we all strive for.

Along with the song, they also released a “visualizer,” which is a “simplistic visual intended to accompany a song,” versus the standard music video. 

House of Saturn – “Waster” (Visualizer)

The visualizer serves as a thematic statement along the lines of being a “waster”, an underachiever, a nobody but a younger generation who are self-exiled and destined to stare at a computer screen all day locked in place, frozen in time. 

Yet, as the song breaks free from its post-ironic chains, an anthemic and climactic resolution is reached as the band draws from its influence from Phish, a polarizing commonality shared among “that indie band from Troy.”

 In spite of any futile attempt by the band to be free from any self-limiting identity, they find freedom within their fluency in musical knowledge. They may be classically trained musicians, but being a band that has a life of its own – an identity unto itself – is an entirely different challenge. 

“Waster” was recorded at Honey Home Studios by Alec Lewis and mixed by Evan Marre. 

Listen to the track here:

“Waster” – House of Saturn

1 Comment
  1. Walter Bonczek says

    Excellent read about a very interesting band…Good job dude…

Comments are closed.