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Album Review: Seether - Isolate And Medicate

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 12:50 AM


Seether - Isolate And Medicate

Written by Antony Scholefield

 

Good doesn't always mean nice. South African rockers Seether are talented, and their sixth album Isolate And Medicate is excellent. It just sounds like someone lifted it out of a barrel of bile and acid, using very long tongs.


The album opens with a slimy, growling riff that still leaves plenty of space for Shaun Morgan's vocals. He experiments with a hypnotic drone, a la Josh Homme, but soon breaks into a throaty scream. In 'Same Damn Life', he surprises us with an impressive falsetto.


Another surprise from that track is the catchy, energetic chorus. Seether can get the blood pumping in a positive way, despite their practiced apathy. What keeps Isolate away from the pop-rock arena, however, are the lyrics. They're constantly sticking it to the man, and the woman, and anyone else who'll listen.


The happier little Vegemites out there might pick 'Keep The Dogs At Bay' at the album's standout track, although it still barely registers on the cheerful scale. Lead single 'Words As Weapons' is also strong, with a complicated riff that crawls towards thrash metal. It emerges as a sludgier, smarter take on the Foo Fighters blueprint.


'My Disaster' is another new flavour of a familiar formula. It's almost teenage angst, but fortunately, Seether are too intelligent to fall into that trap. The adolescent whine does emerge in 'Crash' and 'Watch Me Drown', but they still surpass most post-grunge wannabes.


Seether's intelligence probably causes them headaches. They want to sound like they're carving up guitars with razorblades, or throwing drums down the stairs and recording the sounds made. In reality, they're first-rate musicians. Keep it quiet, though.


The album finishes with 'Save Today', a semi-acoustic ballad-type song. It starts in surprisingly lovely fashion, but soon surrenders to a harsh electric riff and Morgan's red-raw scream. The slow-down is enough to remind us that Seether have hearts, somewhere. They've just chosen to lock them away.

 

Seether's sixth album is arguably one of their ugliest. I mean that as a compliment, of course. It's something to delve into and explore - smart, complicated, and nihilistic. At one point, Shaun Morgan even snarls that "Nobody gives a fuck." Trust me, everyone. You should give a fuck about Isolate And Medicate.


Categories: Album Reviews

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