Seaweed - Service Deck / The Weight [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Service Deck / The Weight [7-inch] (2011)

No Idea Records

I've always felt that Seaweed sounded like a band that was responding to hardcore punk in the same way that bands like Dahlia Seed and Texas Is the Reason did on the East Coast, except Seaweed's relationship to hardcore was informed by the developing grunge of the Pacific Northwest scene rather than straight-edge and Krishna consciousness. On their first release in more than a decade, the band is still exploring that relationship as well as expanding in the direction they were headed on 1999's Actions and Indications.

The A-side, "Service Deck" starts off sounding like a bit of a throwback to Weak with its driving verses playing around with idea of repetition and variation, building tension for the eventual release come the chorus. There is some subtle playing with the conventions of what could otherwise be a very traditional Seaweed song, such as the spoken-word bridge and the keyboards that aid the last 30 seconds of the song. On the flipside, "The Weight" sounds like more of a continuation of the direction the band was headed when they broke up. The stop-start rhythm that dominates the song helps leave the vocals front and centre, highlighting a sense of melody that the band has rarely explored before. On Actions and Indications (and be sure to check out their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way") there was varying degrees of classic rock influence creeping into the band's sound, and to me at least, I think that may be part of the melodic influence here. It isn't like this could be mistaken for a Band cover or anything, but it is there.

Unlike so many reunions that try to rely on nostalgia to empty the pockets of fans without delivering anything other than rehashing the same old thing or failing to sound current, Seaweed just might be adding something new to their story. The guitars are captivating as ever, the new drummer sounds tight, and while the vocals aren't quite as strong as they once were, they are still creative and enjoyable. I for one am excited to see what they do next.