The Sight-Seers

Fun-Seeking with the Sight-Seers

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Straightforward pop at its best, this Atlanta, GA, quartet has plenty of chops and equally enough energy to go around in their first full-length release on the now-defunct Shotput label. The music is self-described as "high school soundtracks," crediting influences like R.E.M., the Police, U2, and the Smiths. The end result is what they call "roots music with a pop melodic sense; a Tallahassee sound." Listening to the disc proves they also have influences in the white rock, funky family like the Spin Doctors and Average White Band (without the horns), due in part to a tight rhythm section found in drummer Brad Lewis and bassman Tim DeLaney. The emotional and occasionally pouty vocals of Zollie Maynard add the character most bands of the genre overlook; that heartbreak and sensitivity can co-exist with a good hook. Guitarist Jason O'Donnell always finds his place and capitalizes on his strengths; funk with equal parts sensitivity and aggressiveness. These are some of the elements that give this band the advantage over their more well-known peers, and it justifies a little milestone in pop history -- the little band that could. Producers Calder, Costanzo, and O'Brian give a couple songs some sweetening with additional instruments, but are smart enough to keep from overdoing it. Sit still and listen to the hard rock flow of "Hermit of the South Pole," the yee-haw powerhouse of "Draggin' the Main," the self-examination that fuels "Continuum," the funky crowd pleaser "Crick in My Neck," and the pause of introspection behind "Stronger Now." Find this CD, and be glad you did.

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