All We Seabees - MKUltra
It's always a good feeling when you introduce a friend to a band, and they enjoy their show so much that they go home with a CD. It's probably akin to the way a political fundraiser feels when they convince someone to pony up a donation to their candidate... except in this case the person actually gets something for their money other than a bunch of promises. The latest case of my musical tastemaking was Saturday night, when All We Seabees celebrated the release of their third album at The Basement.
All We Seabees have been one of the most promising bands on the local scene since their arrival from Detroit two years ago. Though their previous two albums have been fantastic in their own right, with MKUltra they've managed to match the eclectic arrangements that have been a hallmark of their live shows. Their folk rock roots are still very much evident, but they seem to be taking a Wilco like approach and have considerably weirded things up. In addition to an expanded sonic palate, they've also dipped their toes into odd time signatures... not so much that you're going to mistake them for prog rock, but definitely enough to keep you guessing if you try to dance to it. The experimental flourishes of "Hoi Polloi" would feel right at home on any of Radiohead's last couple of albums, and "Alt. Country" rocks harder and quirkier than anything the Seabees have previously done. Despite the bold new window dressings, the lyrics still have the same narrative soul worthy of a poet laureate. With the creative heights they've achieved on MKUltra, perhaps from here on out they'd be best described as folk-art-rock.
All We Seabees - "Howard" (mp3)
All We Seabees - "Leather Leashes" (mp3)
All We Seabees perform this Thursday, September 11 at The Rutledge at 11 pm as part of Next Big Nashville.