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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming
Of the great garage punk bands of the 1960s, some were louder (the Sonics), some were angrier (the Music Machine), and some were trippier (the 13th Floor Elevators), but few seemed like a bad influence on so many levels as the Seeds. The Seeds had long hair, a gloriously lamentable fashion sense, an attitude that was at once petulant and lackadaisical, and music that sounded aimless, horny, agitated, and stoned all at once. Is it any wonder America’s delinquent youth loved them? The Seeds’ aural signature was as distinctive as any band of their era, and they got a bit fancier with their formula as they went along, but they never captured their essential seediness with more impressive concision than they did on their self-titled debut album from 1966. Dominated by the fierce, drawling yelp of Sky Saxon’s vocals and Daryl Hooper’s hypnotically repetitive keyboard patterns, and supported by the snarling report of Jan Savage’s guitar and Rick Andridge’s implacable drumming, the Seeds had a limited bag of melodic tricks, but they hardly seemed to care that roughly half their songs sounded identical, as Saxon bellowed about people who had done him wrong in some way or another (usually women) and the band locked into cyclical grooves that picked up impressive momentum when they gained enough traction (especially “Evil Hoodoo,” “You Can’t Be Trusted,” and the Seeds’ signature tune “Pushin’ Too Hard”). On their second album, A Web of Sound, the Seeds would become more blatant in their celebrations of sex and drugs, but the glorious primitivism and narrower focus of their debut ultimately works to their advantage; there are few albums of the era that mirror the delicious arrogance of a beer-sodden teenage misfit with the effortless simplicity of the Seeds, and it’s justly celebrated as a classic of first-wave garage punk.
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The Seeds The Seeds Review
Album. Released 2012.
Like this? Try these.
Artist Played By
- Wikipedia article on The Seeds
- Reviews available at www.bbc.co.uk
Tracklistings come from MusicBrainz. You can add or edit information about The Seeds at musicbrainz.org . Find out more about our use of this data, and also our policy on profanity
A worthwhile experience no matter how familiar you are with its many pleasures.
Garage rock is, oftentimes, a genre best suited to the rapid, 45rpm whirl of a single slice of seven-inch vinyl.
All too often, bands – young, feisty, desperate to stomp ‘n’ holler – spent their creative load on one Grade-A barnstormer and got too tuckered out afterwards to even muster the same for a B side. Full albums, then, are comparatively few and far between, let alone those that are near wall-to-wall goodness.
While The Seeds were never destined for the same sort of success as their British Invasion influences and frontman Sky Saxon wasn’t quite on the same level as troubled geniuses like Arthur Lee or Roky Erickson, he was nevertheless the driving force behind some of the genre’s finest moments.
Case in point: this, the band’s eponymous LP, which was released way back in 1966 and still retains its awkward, jubilant sparkle.
Perhaps known best for Pushin’ Too Hard – a quintessential anthem that should ring true for disaffected young ‘uns the world over – and Can’t Seem to Make You Mine, a song of such primal, wounded yearning that even a chauvinistic deodorant commercial couldn’t taint its lustre, there remain plenty of treats beyond those immediate points of intrigue.
Amid straggly guitar lines, playful keyboard riffs and Saxon’s immediately-recognisable Butters-from-South-Park vocals creep the stuttering punch of Lose Your Mind, the winding mania of Evil Hoodoo and Nobody Spoil My Fun, a pugnacious number that you can easily imagine Billy Childish wrapping his grubby vowels around.
At their frequent best, things sound like the band are teetering on the edge of collapsing jubilantly inward, while even weaker tracks like You Can’t Be Trusted retain a certain scraggy charm.
While later efforts would slip towards psychedelia, this landmark releases showcases The Seeds at their fiercest and most undiluted: a primal thrust that perfectly encapsulates what it means to be a confused, angst-ridden outsider desperate for a little love and acceptance.
This expanded edition comes with 10 additional cuts – including alternate takes and the unreleased Dreaming of Your Love – and in-depth liner notes which’ll provide food for thought no matter how familiar you already are with the album’s many pleasures.
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- 1 Can’t Seem to Make You Mine
- 2 No Escape
- 3 Lose Your Mind
- 4 Evil Hoodoo
- 5 Girl I Want You
- 6 Pushin’ Too Hard
- 7 Try to Understand GNP Crescendo 370
- 8 Nobody Spoil My Fun
- 9 It’s a Hard Life
- 10 You Can’t Be Trusted
- 11 Excuse, Excuse
- 12 Fallin’ in Love
- 13 She’s Wrong (1977)
- 14 Daisy Mae (take 1) (2012)
- 15 Dreaming of Your Love (2012)
- 16 Out of the Question (version 1, take 1) (2011)
- 17 Out of the Question (version 1, Master) (2012)
- 18 Pushin’ Too Hard (take 1) (2012)
- 19 Girl I Want You (alternate Overdub, take 6a) (2012)
- 20 Evil Hoodoo (Unedited take and Intercut Section) (2012)
- 21 It’s a Hard Life (take 3) (2012)
- 22 Nobody Spoil My Fun (alternate Overdub, take 3a) (2012)
Clips taken from original discs may contain strong language.
The Seeds The Seeds Review Album. Released 2012. Like this? Try these. Artist Played By Links Wikipedia article on The Seeds Reviews available at www.bbc.co.uk