Actions and Indications
Let me give you a warning right off the bat…I’ve got a soft place in my heart for Seaweed. When I first heard the hated tag of “emo” used to describe a band, it was in association with Seaweed. Back then, mind you, it was not intended as a backhanded comment, more as a description. This was around 1991, and my how things change. I am assuming this is a posthumous release from these Tacoma, Washington natives (who claim to actually reside in a mythical land called “Spanaway”) since drummer Alan Cage has gone to rejoin his old bandmates in the now reformed Quicksand.
The CD starts off rocking, and rarely lets up. The funny thing I notice when I listen to Seaweed CDs is, at first I find a few “gems” in the contents of the recording. A few songs here and there grab me right off from the start. Later, the songs that seemed like filler before become favorites, and lo and behold, I find myself loving the entire CD. It isn’t hard to imagine this happening with the songs on this CD. Among my first picks for favorites are “Thru the Window,” a little song about a teenager’s favorite activity, sneaking out of the house after dark. This song brought back memories of the death-defying leap I used to make from the second story balcony of my parents’ house to sneak out and hang with this really psychotic ex-girlfriend of mine way back in 9th grade. Ah… nostalgia. “Against the Sky” is another initial favorite, as is the band’s interpretation of Joy Division/Warsaw’s song “Warsaw.” This version is much better than other versions I have heard of this particular song. “Stay Down” is the closing song on the CD, and another favorite. Damned if Aaron’s voice doesn’t sound downright purty on this little tune.
Some songs are a little too rock-radio friendly, and that might be the only downfall of this CD. “In the Middle” is just a bit too ready for easy digestibility, making it look almost comical in the context of Seaweed’s spot-on song writing. Fortunately, if it was on rock radio, I probably wouldn’t switch stations. I would wonder about the adverse affects of Seaweed’s tour with Candlebox. New drummer Alan Cage (of Quicksand fame) plays solid, but I wonder if a band like Seaweed needs a drummer that good to fill its roster. It seems like a waste of an innovative drummer when Seaweed isn’t actually a “spotlight for musicians” kind of band.
A nice layout makes this CD delightful to the eye, and Merge Records gives it some hip indie rock cred after a stint with the late (but not-lamented) Disney-owned Hollywood records.
Merge Records, Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514; http://www.mrg2000.com