SEEPEOPLES: THE CORN SYRUP CONSPIRACY (RascalZ '04)

I literally can't remember the last time a CD from a band I had never heard of landed on my desk and was this good. I get tons of discs sent to me, some of them are really good, but the few that I end up listening to more than once are almost always from a band I have at least heard of. When The Cornsyrup Conspiracy was dropped on me I was not familiar with SeepeopleS, but this Allston, Massachusetts rock band quickly made an impression.

You see the reason so many of the discs that I open end up in the crap pile is because they have no vision. Most of the bands can play their instruments and seem to be having fun, but a good album that does not make. I need some broad thought, good song writing, interesting arrangements and some sort of emotional quality. Now the SeepeopleS have only been around for a few years, and there are areas that need to develop, but one thing you can't learn and are not likely to develop is the vision. I don't know where it comes from or how certain bands are able to take the vision and turn it into a masterful piece of art, but Will Bradford who leads SeepeopleS has the vision.

It takes maybe half a spin of The Cornsyrup Conspiracy to start feeling the vast ideas and wide open concepts. Not only does the album have the all important vision, it sounds damn good. Again, for a band that I have never even heard of, the production quality is amazing; not over done, but enough to make all the vocals dreamy and full, the instruments clean and the finishing touches exquisite.

The first track, "Dog Days" may be the album's strongest cut. With a slinky, almost Middle Eastern guitar line, heavy but deft drums, and a wonderful tension/release build-up, the song is an ambitious and successful anthem. While "Dog Days" is clearly a rocker, the next song, "The Way the World Will Fall" shows an ability to slow things down and allow the vocals room to breath. "Butchers" builds on a stuttering broken drum beat and is laced with spaced out swirls of sound. The seven-plus minute "Send Me A Line" follows the surreal, Pink Floyd influenced soundscapes and "Root of Loot" is a dubbed out heavily hashed engagement.

Another aspect of the album I love is that it's packed with music. 16 songs and over an hour of sound with special guest Tim Reynolds, Dave Shul (Spearhead), Dana Colley who was Morphine's sax player, and two Parliament players Pete Keys and Ray Davis. And the best part is that it's not just "music," it's music with vision and a message. The Cornsyrup Conspiracy is full of social commentary and worldly observations. The lyrics are thought provoking and the delivery inspiring. There's just enough accessibility to have some pop appeal, but with enough long songs and varying sounds the discerning listener will also keep coming back. To be honest, I'm shocked this was my first exposure to SeepeopleS.

Kayceman
JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 12/18/04]

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