When women become pregnant their bodies change. Even aside from the obvious, they experience paradigm shifts in chemistry, metabolism and appearance. Curly hair goes straight. Pale complexions might turn a bit olive. The eyes change shape and nearsightedness develops. She may come down with a temporary case of diabetes.
Apparently it happens to men, too, when their wives are pregnant. But maybe only in the ears. Take it from at least one reliable source that mainstream music starts to sound too polished and too produced, too big and too bold. The timid and unsteady vocals rampant in indie rock become art forms all their own. The scaled-back productions are agreeable at the molecular level. Perhaps most odious, you start to appreciate the sound of … the accordion!?
It has been four and a half years. This happy new condition seems irreversible.
But Xtina & Co. should not despair. The song is the thing. We don’t simply wave you off subjectively, sight unseen. If you produce good music, we’ll buy your album. And today we’re buying Seether.
Seether fans (and there are a few, if record sales are any measure) will dispute the assumption that the post-grunge outfit is mainstream. But don’t let the mohawks and lip rings fool you: those soaring growls and walls of sound and trips to rehab are what pay the bills anymore. Their latest LP Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 and has sold over one million copies. Karma and Effect is certified Platinum worldwide. Their music appears on one of the Guitar Hero permutations, for the love of Mike.
But don’t let all the record sales fool you. These guys are good. Really good.
The story behind “Rise Above This” is both moving and ironic. The video hints at the track’s inspiration. If it’s still too subtle, wait for the end:
Suffice to say Shaun Morgan’s grimace is not an act.
Seether has also broken hard rock’s long streak of Really Bad Covers (video is still images only; not an official release):
But my favorite track is the near-epic “No Jesus Christ,” an over-the-top lover’s lament if ever there was one. (Morgan is on record saying the ex in question was not Amy Lee):