Saul
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Saul

South Sioux City, Nebraska, United States | SELF

South Sioux City, Nebraska, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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If you like Tool, you are going to absolutely love the band Saul. I have heard many bands try to play this particular style of music and not do so good. It is a style of music that is melodic, hard; and not everyone can play it no matter how hard they try. Combining some melodic guitar riffs, straight forward bass lines, and simple yet off beat type of drum beats; these guys have pulled it off in a way I could not have imagined. That is a hell of a job for only a three piece band.

“Atrocious Ra” leads the album with some amazing playing. Actually, every song on the album is amazing, but Atrocious Ra is one of my favorites. Blake Bedsaul’s bass playing and drum beats provided by Todd Poland complement each other exquisitely. Now toss in guitar work by Zach Bedsaul to make this a band that needs to be recognized.

The drum work on “Take It From Me” is fantastic. Playing not only a beat, Todd is all over the place utilizing just about every drum and cymbal he has. Blake Bedsaul is an amazing singer and bass player, he and brother Zach Bedsaul make a great vocal team as many of their backing vocals are mellifluous.

I personally love the band Saul. The style of music and knowing that these guys play with such intricacy while being only a three piece band is astonishing to me. Regardless of the music, these three are truly great musicians. I hope to hear more from the band Saul and cannot wait till they produce another album. - Muen Magazine, Eric Vellone


Saul - Embrace The Rain
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saul is a three-piece from Iowa and have played together for about six years so far. As a trio they have clear talent and song-writing ability, and a sound that is reflective, errs on the dark side, and has a tinge of the melancholic about it.

Although this five-track EP is on the short side, clocking in at under 15 minutes, it is incredibly well crafted. Intro sets the scene, a short instrumental piece which gives a flavour of the style that is maintained throughout. Moving seamlessly from Intro to Atrocious Ra, they pick up the pace a bit with the drums coming into their own and bassist Blake Bedsaul's vocals a perfect counterpoint to the melodies going on underneath.

I am really impressed with the melodies throughout actually. Drums, bass, guitar and vocals are all running on slightly different tracks yet they blend particularly well together. Saul describe their melodies as "unhinged" and I can agree with that as a description. Take Intimacy, for example, where the vocals are a sort of restrained gothic rock (and I should note that guitarist Zach Bedsaul provides quality backing vocals as well), the guitar is maintaining its own subdued line but at a subtley different pace, and Todd Poland's drums rise and fall in prominance like a wave.

The five tracks are all quite similar in style and tone, so the CD sort of drifts from one to the next without much of a break. It works really well here; sometimes it's a risk and a band is in danger of sounding too samey, but this is just the right length to carry it off. They aren't afraid to allow elements to be unsupported either, sometimes the vocals go it alone, sometimes the guitar is allowed to float solo without bass or drums. Then you have the interludes of rapidfire drums in Take It From Me which are low enough in the mix to maintain the subtlety of crafting rather than overpowering the other elements.

It's good stuff. A heavier handed production would have dramatically changed the vibe and possibly ruined what instead comes across as an introspective and very well thought through EP.
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Posted in Music by Graceful Degradation - Graceful Degradation


Before Blake Bedsaul shares the back story on his band’s new EP, discount two assumptions.

One, the name is not a Biblical reference. And two, not all three-piece groups sound small.

The Sioux City progressive/alternative rockers prepare to drop their second disc this weekend. (Show details at the end of this post.) The show comes as a bright spot for their effort, which began five years ago playing covers in bars.

The trio now has financial support from local label and has celebrated exposure from airplay on Z-98.

Their new studio effort comes with a matured sound, 22-year-old Bedsaul said. He sings lead and plays bass, brother Zach, 21, is on guitar and on drums is Todd Poland, 26. The trio lives in South Sioux City.

The Weekender’s Sam Burrish sat down with Blake Bedsaul recently to discuss the release and the band’s direction. For more on Saul, see their profiles on Facebook and MySpace.

Weekender: What’s special about your sound?

Bedsaul: “A lot of people say they can’t believe how big we sound for a three-piece band. A big thing is vocal harmonizing, that really fills and emphasizes certain parts. Our drums do add a lot to the sound, mainly because it’s never standard 4/4 drums, unless we’re accenting a part. That really fills it out with dead space.”

Weekender: Has anyone thought you were a Christian hard rock band?

Bedsaul: “Yeah, yeah. I had to tell them different.” (Laughs.)

Weekender: You say the music is progressive/alternative?

Bedsaul: “I think our music isn’t easily classified into a genra. We have our heavy side, like Breaking Benjamin or Tool. But it’s diverse enough you’ve got the heavy, but also the aggressively epic, as I like to call it. Like the songs ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Into Morrows Brink’ off our new EP, that I think really appeal to everybody.”

Weekender: How have you advanced with the second EP?

Bedsaul: “In the new EP, there a maturity level. When we recorded the first one I was only 18, and in four years a lot of things can happen. And I’m not an angry little teenager anymore. (Laughs.)

In ‘Atrocious Ra’, the first song on the EP, it’s mainly a song about confession. ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Into Morrows Brink” is more about a relationship, the struggles between two people. But you can take it many ways.”

Weekender: How did you decide it was time to record the first self-titled EP in 2007?

Bedsaul: “We were in the basement for six months writing songs and practicing, and we were ready to get started.

We were in the process of writing a bunch of songs and looked up Cathouse Studios in Sioux Falls. We saw they had an opening pretty much and thought we’d go record five songs and see how it goes.

The song ‘Snow White’ off the first EP took off. Z-98 played it and Tri-State Cage Fighting played it as a walk-in song.”

Weekender: What did you learn by getting a start with covers in the bar scene?

Bedsaul: “By playing covers, it gets you involved knowing people in the bar scene and things like that. Bars want a cover band to play for four or five hours. So, starting off with originals, you play a lot of free shows, a lot of free shows.

Weekender: Can you tell me about Blind Boy Labs and your relationship?

Bedsaul: “We met Christopher Trautwein (from South Sioux City) a couple of years ago. Zach and I were doing an acoustic set in Leeds. About a year later he got a hold of us. He does a lot of financial backing, as far as show advertisements, gas for shows if we need it.

It helps both of us because he makes money off of CDs, it’s helping each other out, like a standard record label.”

Show details

What: Saul EP release show
When: Saturday (Oct. 16), 8 p.m. with music about 9 p.m.
Where: The Chesterfield, 1225 Fourth St.
Cost: $7 and includes a copy of the new EP, “Embrace the Rain”
Artists playing: Saul, Mersa (Christian hardcore), Cheers (psychedelic, indie), and metal group Cold Sweat (Norfork area), progressive rock band Vitosus (Omaha). - Sam Burrish Sioux City Journal


Discography

Self titled EP: Saul
Recorded March of 2007 at Cathouse Studios Sioux Falls, SD

Track 1 Down on us
Track 2 The Craft
Track 3 The Portrait
Track 4 Snow White, airplay Z98 Sioux City, IA. KBVU 97.5 Storm Lake, IA (Voted regions best band by Z98 in 2008)
Track 5 Iron Butterfly

Embrace the Rain
Recorded September 2010 Catamount Studio Cedar Falls, IA
Released October 16th 2010

Track 1 Intro
Track 2 Atrocious ra, airplay Z98 Sioux City, IA
Track 3 Intimacy
Track 4 Into Morrow's Brink
Track 5 Take it from me

Photos

Bio

After polishing their musical skills for nearly three years in the smoky bars of northwest Iowa, Saul climbed to the top of the local rock scene in 2007 with their self-titled debut EP. With standout tracks like "Snow White," the music of Saul appealed to rock fans and non-rock fans alike. Among other accolades, the Z-98 (97.9 FM) radio station in Sioux City, Iowa heralded the group as the “Best Regional Band of 2008”.

The band consists of bassist and vocalist Blake Bedsaul, guitarist Zach Bedsaul, and drummer Todd Poland. The trio meld unhinged melodies to create a sound larger than the sum of its parts. As Kris Todd penned in a June 2007 article for The Daily Reporter in Spencer, IA: “Saul are among those few Iowans striving to transcend their dreams into music.”

Currently, Saul is signed with Blind Boy Records of Sioux City. The independent record label plans to bring the group's music to a wider audience, and a wider range of talent to the area. With the release of Saul's new EP Embrace the Rain. The next few months are sure to be productive.