The Ominous Seapods

Matinee Idols: Late Show

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Released as a promotional companion disc to the band's live album Matinee Idols, Late Show finds the band taking chances on a number of a stretched-out numbers. Beginning with an introduction that comes off like a demented parody of Bill Graham's introduction of the Grateful Dead on One From the Vault, the band launches into "Mr. Blood," the relentless hardcore tune that keys off a set of the 'pods bizarre pop culture/sci-fi melange. Through several large jams based on classic rock covers (including the Who's "Sally Simpson" and Kingfish's "Jump for Joy"), the band runs through textbook examples of tension and release improvisation. On some levels, the band is the very epitome of a generic band, playing perfectly within the boundaries of what a jam band is. At the same time, the band does this incredibly well, from Max Verna's nuanced voice and Duane Allman-influenced guitar playing to Ted Marotta's straight-ahead drumming to Tom Pirozzi's relentlessly melodic basslines. It's okay, too, because the Seapods helped define the genre. It's hard to find a jam band having more fun.

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