Wind-Up, 2013


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


I'm unclear on the "post" adjective that critics ascribe to rock movements. Post-punk was big in the early '80s, and that one makes some sense, as it took the spirit of punk but didn't follow the musical rules, birthing a new sound in the process. But then someone came up with post-rock, and post-grunge, and then definition became blurry. That said, if there is a such thing as post-grunge, Seether is definitely it.

Actually, the second wave of grunge came in 1994 with Bush, then later with Creed and Nickelback, and the bands of the new millenium used these guys as a starting point with only the ghosts of Alice in Chains and Nirvana lingering. So it's post-copycat grunge, really, and if that sounds interesting at all, Seether is the band for you, never mind the fact that Shaun Morgan sounds almost exactly like Bush's Gavin Rossdale trying to sound like Kurt Cobain. Why more people can't try to sound like Pearl Jam instead of Creed is beyond me, but hey, I don't need to sell records for a living.

Anyway, Seether have been mainstays on modern rock radio (Z106.7 The Boulder! Bow Wow and Hank in the Morning! Rock blox all day! Free beer! Chicks! Avenged Sevenfold tickets! Weather on the twos!) for the last decade. It can be difficult to pick them out of the lineup alongside the many other bands that sound like them, but as this surprisingly packed collection shows, they have a definite formula that gets airplay.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first disc (oh yes, there are two) picks the best 15 songs from the band's four albums to date (a fifth was released in summer 2014). Early hits like "Fine Again" and "Gasoline" are as good as any other modern hard rock single, no better, no worse, although the Amy Lee duet "Broken" has its moments of beauty. The Karma and Effect track "Remedy" is probably the standout moment here, a pummeling, catchy Morgan riff and some solid drumming from John Humphrey pushing the song forward.

"Fake It" has some pretty banal lyrics but is interesting musically, with a muscular riff that swings in the verses and punches in the chorus. Sadly, many of the songs try for some sort of power ballad feeling and wind up as generic entries in the modern rock catalog, while the hit cover of Wham's "Careless Whisper" is barely good for a chuckle. Limp Bizkit already did this with "Faith," and they did it with a wink, but Morgan plays it absolutely straight, and the song suffers. "Country Song" is along the same lines as "Fake It," taking its time to settle into the main section of the song, while "Tonight" hearkens back to a more cheerful early ‘90s alt rock sound and concerns an honest, heartfelt ode to a girlfriend.

Fully half of these songs were actual hits, while the others are pale imitations of such, but those who like those radio hits will find this to be a fair sampler of the band's first four discs. Bigger fans will be interested in the second disc, which rounds up three soundtrack-only songs, three demos and six rarities (new songs and B-sides). Casual fans aren't missing much here, as it's just more of the same, including the clueless, boring, plodding cover of "Seether" that is an insult to Veruca Salt.

Seether's hits collection does its job of rounding up the biggest and best songs for casual fans, offering a wealth of treasures in a handy spot for those not inclined to hunt for them individually, and trying to explain why this band has over a decade of success in a fickle rock market. Guess Bush was on to something after all.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wind-Up, and is used for informational purposes only.