Seemless - What Have We Become (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


What Have We Become (2006)

Equal Vision

I chuckle when I think of my naïve middle school days when the only music I knew of came from the radio. Let's see…it would have been '92-'93 when I was in sixth grade and I was still a year or so away from discovering Green Day, thanks again to radio, which started a chain reaction as I delved into all things punk. But before then, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden and Nirvana were my bands of choice, and while those groups (Nirvana especially) were talented and made worthwhile contributions to music history, they became what I rebelled against when I turned to punk. Years later I would again embrace Nirvana, but as for that wave of other stuff, I rarely return to it and sold most of it during my "punk only" phase in high school. (Yeah, like that Guttermouth album was worth selling Superunknown for.)

Massachusetts' Seemless sound like a band that grew up learning guitar to these bands' records and never lost the love for that sound. Perhaps through time they also developed more underground leanings and took a hardcore/metalcore edge, like vocalist Jesse Leach's previous band Killswitch Engage. But here Seemless are passionate about rocking you with their mildly Zeppelin-inspired blues riffs and watered down kinda-Sabbath metal crud. Their self-titled debut, which received two terrible reviews here on Punknews (one by my pal Jesse) seems to have been improved upon ever-so-slightly, perhaps because Leach was not involved in writing that album, he joined just in time to tack on his vocals. His input to the writing process still finds them riding long-past trends, however it seems at least as a unit they are more put-together.

Leach's voice sounds strangely too good for the metal backing. It reminds me a bit of Stone Temple Pilots' early, more metal work, especially coming through in "Numb" when the smooth vocal harmonies kick in for the choruses. He is versatile, I will give him that, but it happens that I don't like his smooth voice, ragged melodic voice, or his screaming voice. As for the backing music, they are talented but show little soul. While the metal riffs seem hard, the constant volume of this disc dilutes any power they may have once contained. Even when the band attempts to ‘bring things down' on "The Deep Below" it still blends into the neighboring tracks leaving little impression. These guys might as well be backing Evanescence, it's that safe.

I think I'll go listen to Core instead. Ahhh, those were the days! Wait a minute, no, they mostly sucked. And so does this.