Seether - Karma And Effect
Today's record is Seether's 2005 album "Karma And Effect".
What does he say, "Seeed"? Nah, difference couldn't be bigger, this ain't no German Dancehall Group with the unusual number of eleven band members, this is, hm, let's say, Post-Grunge from South Africa, with English lyrics.
The until now only oppurtunity you could have heard of Seether was their song "Broken", that featured Amy Lee of Evanescence (another forgotten band), the former girlfriend of singer Shaun Morgan. By the way, the original song without the howling-around of Amy Lee is way better, at least in my unimportant eyes.
Anyway, I've decided to not only present you classic albums but also albums of bands that are not that famous around here, so the Gleichschaltung of the radio stations does not have to mean you cannot get your hands on some good music.
Back to topic.
Seether's sound is shaped by the heavily distorted guitars and Morgan's rough voice. I have to say, it is clear that Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder is his idol, at least in terms of his singing, but he is not quite comparable to him. Nevertheless, it fits to the music.
An advantage of a voice like that is clearly the fact that you can write a slow, rather sad song and not sound cheesy with clean singing and without some edgy production. At the same time, more aggressive songs can also sound authentic. Thus, the preconditions are not the worst for this particular band.
The bass guitar rarely plays "against" the guitar, but mostly supports its lines. Drums are, well, fitting, not too outstanding, but also playing some good lines.
So again, the single instruments cannot be the attraction of this band. What is it, then?
Maybe it's the fact that Morgan manages to convey the image of a man who is often angst-ridden, injurable but nevertheless able to voice his angers. Accordingly, the lyrics are seldom explicit and clear, if you want to explore the deeper meanings, you have to interprete yourself.
Well, a more total description of the sound of the band in words people understand could be: Take some parts of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, mix it up with more modern acts like Staind or Creed, add a production that's not too clean neither too rough and work in some Nickelback at their more aggressive sides.
That's Seether, I'd say, although of course comparisons can never produce a good image of a band, again, you just gotta listen. And don't get fooled by "Broken" (as mentioned before), this one's too clearly laid out for the European market of teenagers who like an emotional song with some distorted guitars. This reproduction is inconsequent, neither rocking nor suffering.
So, business as usual, I present you a short description of the individual songs.
Ah, I almost forgot the obligatory record cover. For those who care:
The opener, as usual in rock albums, is a bit more up-tempo thing called "Because Of Me". Hard riffs and some screaming in the chorus, clean guitars and clean singing in the verses, nothing new, nothing special, still a good song. Ths guitar solo resembles a bit Morello's weird guitar work.
"Remedy" features some toms in the verse and a nice, climacting bridge that breaks out into the chorus, where voice and guitar are combined to create a nice, hard melody.
"Truth" is, as far as I can remember from the depths of my brain, one of the singles of the album. Old recipe: Clean singing over clean guitars, distorted guitars in the chorus and a to a certain part sing-along-able (does that word exist?) melody.
"The Gift" is one song that stands out. Slow guitar picking and really sensitive, almost sad singing leads to a seemingly more hopful bridge, before the chours with the once more distorted guitars starts. Still, that doesn't destroy the song's melancholic feeling, but adds to it. Some lead guitar work supports the melodies. Has to be one of my favourites of Seether.
I still do not understand why the next song is called "Burrito". However, in contrast to the aforementioned one, this is a more aggressive piece of work with almost grunted singing in some parts. All in all, one of the weak songs.
"Given"'s similar to "Burrito" and "Remedy". The definite highlight is the scream at the end of the chorus. Aside from that, nothing special, just another typical song.
"Never Leave" again is similar to "The Gift". It is obvious that Seether's softer songs are their better ones, and this is another proof.
"World Falls Away" keeps the variation of "Hard, medium, soft, repeat" that lines through the record. Nice song, although not much more than that.
"Tongue": slow, soft and mainly acoustic again. Except for the chorus. Got used to that, dintcha?
"I'm The One" is, as you might have expected, a faster, harder rocking track. But with its nice riffing and edgy sound one of the better songs on this album. Especially good: The bridge.
"Simplest Mistake" starts off with unusual measures in intro and bridge and (after a quieter verse) starts off with a hooky chorus and breaks down into a relatively hard bridge. Also one of the album's highlights. Seems like Seether has tried to concentrate the good ones at beginning and end, so you only remember those...
"Diseased" begins slow and quiet, with a queer tune, shifts into start-and-stop distorted guitars and then into a, how am I to say, pop-rock bridge, topping this with a catchy chorus. Very versatile song.
"Plastic Man" again starts as a acoustic ballad - and to common disbelief, stays one. Absolutely no electric guitars, can you say "amen"? Thoughtful lyrics and a good and untypical song.
Well, as you see, it's kinda hard to describe the songs of the album. Many are built with the old "soft verse, hard chorus"-scheme, what yet does not have to mean they're bad, just not outstanding. Morgan's rough voice is mainly of advantage in ballads, where it keeps the kitsch out of the song.
All in all, "Karma And Effect" is a good album if you like the musical style, but definitely not a masterpiece of central meaning to global music. But hey, how often have you listened to a South African band (There's one jazzy bonus track sung in Africaans)?
Ah, the rating. Difficult one, but as I can say whatever the fuck I want here and no ones gives a shit (missed the swearing, am I right, dickheads?), the result is:
7 / 10