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BBC – Music – Review of The Seeds

Written by on October 18, 2020

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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