Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Review #24: Seaweed - Seaweed (1990)

Year: 1990
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore, Grunge
Label: Leopard Gecko Records
Tracks: 8
Length: 22 Minutes (Medium-Length)
Style: Emotional
My Rating: 7/8

Seaweed is one of my favorite bands of all time. They are a post-hardcore band from Tacoma, Washington that formed in 1989 with the original lineup of Aaron Stauffer (vocals), Clint Wener (guitar), Wade Neal (guitar), John Atkins (bass guitar), and Bob Bulgrein (drums). I've been a fan of them for over a year, but this was the year that I started REALLY learning to appreciate them. Their music could almost be considered to be an early form of "emo-core", but don't let that fool ya, 'cause my bullshit detector's on, and these guys are GOOD. Real emotion in their music, not computer-generated corporate emotion like a lot of kids my age listen to. Their music also often gets lumped in with "grunge" music, due to the fact that they play a good number of slow songs and use a lot of distortion, not to mention that they come from a place awfully close to you-know-where.

This, however, was not their first release. Most of the songs on this album come from earlier 7" releases from 1989 and early 1990, but there's also a few new songs (which would be released on their next LP, "Despised", a real classic.) If you're a fan of grunge or hardcore punk (or even real emo), you might easily take a liking to this!

1. Just a Smirk
Has a really nice beat and fuzzy guitars, with Aaron's beautiful but rough vocals. However, this iz just the beginning. A really awesome mid-section with a great solo. This should fire up a party.

2. Installing
This one starts out pretty slow. It was later re-recorded for "Despised" in 1991. The chorus is faster than the chorus. Most of the song alternates between fast and slow parts.

3. Stargirl
This is a beautiful song. The lyrics are about that special girl we dream about meeting, "but she isn't even there." Easily the best song on the album. Just when you think the song is going to end, there is an outro-section that re-spices up the song just before the end. This song is sexy.

4. Deertrap
This is off of one of their early singles. I guess the song is about a time that Aaron saw a deer in a deer trap and tried to rescue it, but couldn't succeed. Carla Torgerson from the Walkabouts does backing vocals on this one. She did backing vocals on a lot of their songs, actually! The song gets really thrashy at the very end.

5. Inside
This was the A-Side to their very first 7" EP. Slower tempo than the previous few songs. Carla does backing vocals in this one, too.

6. Lovegut
The last track on the "Inside" EP. Probably some sort of love song, but I don't have the lyrics. Great emotional vocals from Aaron Stauffer. The tempo is almost grungy.

7. Carousel
The B-Side to the "Deer Trap" single. I guess my main thumbs-ups to this one are the main riff and the vocals.

8. Patchwork
This one got on "Despised" as well. I really like this one. The part that really pulls me into this one is the part of the chorus that has the "you consume" line it. Most of the song is relatively fast, but that part is slow. The song ends by slowly fading out.

This one is only a preview of the greatness that they would continue to spew out for the rest of the early '90s, which include some of my favorites, "Despised", "Weak" (the best one), and "Four". Their major label debut, "Spanaway" is supposedly a classic as well, but I haven't listened to the whole thing. Same can be said about "Actions and Indications". The band broke up in 2000 or so, but they re-united in 2007. They claimed to be recording a new album called "Small Engine Repair", but there's still no word of it being released as of now. Oh well. Anyways, check this album out. It's very good.

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