The Seeds

The Seeds

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Of the great garage punk bands of the 1960s, some were louder (the Sonics), some were angrier (the Music Machine), and some were trippier (the 13th Floor Elevators), but few seemed like a bad influence on so many levels as the Seeds. The Seeds had long hair, a gloriously lamentable fashion sense, an attitude that was at once petulant and lackadaisical, and music that sounded aimless, horny, agitated, and stoned all at once. Is it any wonder America's delinquent youth loved them? The Seeds' aural signature was as distinctive as any band of their era, and they got a bit fancier with their formula as they went along, but they never captured their essential seediness with more impressive concision than they did on their self-titled debut album from 1966. Dominated by the fierce, drawling yelp of Sky Saxon's vocals and Daryl Hooper's hypnotically repetitive keyboard patterns, and supported by the snarling report of Jan Savage's guitar and Rick Andridge's implacable drumming, the Seeds had a limited bag of melodic tricks, but they hardly seemed to care that roughly half their songs sounded identical, as Saxon bellowed about people who had done him wrong in some way or another (usually women) and the band locked into cyclical grooves that picked up impressive momentum when they gained enough traction (especially "Evil Hoodoo," "You Can't Be Trusted," and the Seeds' signature tune "Pushin' Too Hard"). On their second album, A Web of Sound, the Seeds would become more blatant in their celebrations of sex and drugs, but the glorious primitivism and narrower focus of their debut ultimately works to their advantage; there are few albums of the era that mirror the delicious arrogance of a beer-sodden teenage misfit with the effortless simplicity of the Seeds, and it's justly celebrated as a classic of first-wave garage punk.

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