Self Titled (Re-Issue)
posted on 2/2005 By:
Seemless, a band built from the ashes of Medium, plays a style of riff based hard rock that belies the pedigrees of its members. Front man Jesse David spent time in Killswitch Engage, as did guitarist Pete Cortese, who also played in Overcast, and drummer Derek Kerswill used to beat the skins for Shadows Fall. Rather than following formulaic suit with their successful metalcore ex-bandmates, Seemless have chosen a new direction, albeit one that has similar commercial viability. Their debut album, originally on Losing Face, has been reissued by Equal Vision with a live bonus track added.
You’ll remember Temple of the Dog, an outstanding one off project that included members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. If instead, Soundgarden partnered with Stone Temple Pilots, they may have sounded a little like this. Seemless’ heavy but FM friendly riffing and soaring choruses are based in the Seattle movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s, but filtered through a stoner rock ethos. Finally, the band adds traces of New England bite and snatches of Dixie blues based groove, to create a kind of northwest-by-south style that is fit for mass consumption as well as parts of the metal community.
After a brief and somewhat disposable intro track, “Something’s Got to Give” begins with a heavy intro before settling into a kicked back clean verse and David’s Chris Cornell inspired soulful crooning, before again building in volume and intensity for an anthemic chorus. Part spacey ballad and part rocker “Endless” is perfect for airplay and would stand out like a fart in an elevator following whatever vapid crap Staind is offering this week. Tracks like “War/Peace” and “In My Time of Need” show off the band’s appreciation for southern craftsmanship, and “The Crisis” finds the band at their most explosive. David turns in a strong vocal performance that ranges from soulful, to a more full voiced bellow, to a scream that hints at his metalcore roots. Similarly, guitarist Cortese’s thick and vibrant riffing spans the blues based hard and stoner rock, and alt genres. The band is at its best on the album’s first single, “Lay My Burden Down”, a song with a monstrous and painfully addictive upbeat groove, and tremendous vocals that are strongly reminiscent of the croon and soaring wail style of Chris Cornell. The song is getting some play on Headbangers Ball and satellite radio, and if the FM crowd hasn’t caught on yet, it’s surely only a matter of time.
Aside from good prospects in the radio world, it would seem the band will also pick up some fans across the metal scene. There are elements of stoner (southern and otherwise) rock/metal, but possibly not enough to be considered a perfect fit for that fanbase. Still, while some may find the album a bit too tame, it’s a sure bet that Seemless would be a hit as a compromise at a party full of people with diverse rock and metal tastes. The effort is hard to criticize--it’s well conceived, performed, and packaged, and as far as hard rock goes, these guys are a bright spot in a sea of overwhelming mediocrity.
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