Seether
Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray


1.5
very poor

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
May 22nd, 2011 | 132 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album’s title is all too honest.

At this point in their career, Seether is an interesting band to attempt to evaluate. They seem to be entrenched in our good graces as one of the more respectable radio-rock acts out there, producing past hits such as ‘Fine Again’, ‘Fake It’, ‘Rise Above This’, and ‘Careless Whisper.’ Their brand of melodic rock is catchy and always just heavy enough to make us not feel like complete pussies for listening to them. The formula is tried and proven by some of Seether’s most esteemed colleagues: Nickelback, 3 Doors Down, Hinder, Daughtry, and Three Days Grace. Well, when you are in that kind of company, you can’t really fault them for not seeing the error of their ways.

Still, for as generic and clichéd as the entire radio-rock genre has become, Seether has managed to more or less dodge the criticism bullet (they still get their fair share, but they don’t take the shot to the head that Nickelback does). Maybe it is the aggressive undertones, the slightly more varied musical technique, or just the sheer fact that some bands are so poor that they corner the market in terms of negative attention – but the point is, Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray is the album that sees Seether finally caving in, collapsing over top of what small resistance separated them from the other classless behemoths currently dominating the billboards. If Seether was ever original enough in the first place to “sell out” with Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces, then Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray sees the band completely and utterly whoring themselves out.

‘Fur Cue’ kicks the album off by relying on ridiculous clichés in order to sound heavy, shouting out every couple of words that rhyme: FAKE!! You’re more than I can take, and something’s gonna BREAK!! – along with distorted but extremely basic electric guitar riffs in the background. Unfortunately, it is already all downhill from here. ‘No Resolution’ is a less catchy but just as gimmicky version of the opener, while ‘Pass Slowly’ is another failed attempt at a power ballad as rich as ‘Fine Again.’ Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, the second half of the album shows a significant drop-off in quality. Consisting of what essentially boils down to five filler tracks, very little material of significance is offered to the listener. ‘Roses’ passes by blandly, with a predictable chord progression and awful rhyming within the chorus (they literally rhyme “me” with “me” six times). ‘Down’ and ‘Desire for Need’ are equally as inconsequential, as the band members play their instruments, run through the same old hackneyed song structures, and, as a whole, chill out and do nothing impressive whatsoever.

‘Forsaken’ ensures that the listener will leave the experience offended, as Seether once again stoops to the level of the “closing ballad.” As you might have expected, the song is slow but gradually increasing in intensity, with vague lyrics about unrequited love and a chorus that tries way too hard to sound inspiring. If you are breathing a heavy sigh just reading this, you might want to save yourself the trouble and avoid this altogether – because Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray is an album that rarely (if ever) offers anything resembling experimentation. Even the hit single ‘Country Song’ falls flat, suffering from an identity crisis that sees Seether try (and fail miserably) to blend twangy country with their trademark hard rock. The whole thing ends up sounding disjointed, as if the band members wanted to keep pace with country music’s contemporary success a la Avenged Sevenfold’s ‘Dear God’ or Nickelback’s ‘This Afternoon’, but realized how awful it sounded and hurriedly tried to mush it together with a standard filler track. It isn’t pretty, but if any track on here deserves some credit, ‘Country Song’ just might be different enough to divert attention away from the train wreck that is Seether’s fifth LP.

Seether is a band that is out of ideas. Disclaimer and Disclaimer II were unique enough to warrant respect, and while Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces wasn’t exactly a beacon of innovation, it was still catchy enough to remain lodged in our brains for the entire year of its release. Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray, unfortunately, fails to follow in the footsteps of any of its predecessor’s best traits. It is not unique, it is not catchy, and it never really gives the listener a reason to spin the album more than once. Like the title suggests, maybe Seether is grasping for something that isn’t there anymore. At one point this band served a purpose, but much like a human appendix, no one is quite sure what that is anymore (maybe a certain generation’s gateway to hard rock?), and Seether is one string that nowadays – you guessed it - may be better left to fray.



Recent reviews by this author
Robert Plant Lullaby And… The Ceaseless RoarThe Rentals Lost In Alphaville
Low Roar 0Imogen Heap Sparks
The Rosebuds Sand + SilenceOwl John Owl John
user ratings (221)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


23818 Comments


Seether lol

SowingSeason lol

wait wait wait, one of those is wrong...

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


who's to know if your soul has changed at all

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


this album probably sucks but this review isn't very good either :S

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm way too tired to care at this point, but if you have any suggestions maybe I will look them over in the morning

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


im working on a pretty sweet cap for moaropeth

ThyCrossAwaits
May 22nd 2011


3052 Comments


First two paragraphs and conclusion are great, but yeah...description is really meh.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I guess I just found it hard to describe because its so bland that there really is nothing to say

who knows though its 3 am here so this might suck

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


it's 3 am here too!!!

tiesthatbind
May 22nd 2011


7374 Comments


Country Song ain't half bad. The rest sucks hard.

Digging: xSPONGEXCOREx - How Tough Are Yah?

ThyCrossAwaits
May 22nd 2011


3052 Comments


The review isn't bad by any means, and on second read wasn't as bland.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I dunno I had my doubts about this review (the writing, not the score) but I was too impatient to postpone the release until tomorrow

i like to wake up to a slew of comments and negs

tiesthatbind
May 22nd 2011


7374 Comments


Review's great btw, it's giving me inspiration to finish a couple reviews up myself.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

good, its about time we got someone good writing again to fill in for monica on staff

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


it's fine grammatically, its just pretty hilariously hypocritical... like chastising a band for its (obvious to anyone who will read it here) lack of originality by saying its 'bland' and 'flat' and 'like other radio rock.'

to put it in context, this review is EXACTLY like any bulldog review except you use correct grammar. Cirq, by contrast, can write something batshit retarded but it's still a better read because it has a more honest reaction...

NapalmDe4th
May 22nd 2011


54 Comments


Honestly, I always found Seether to be worse than Nickelback in many respects. Actually, I've never
understood why Nickelback bears the brunt of the criticism especially now that Hinder hit the public
conscience but...

Great review, if it's even worse than their previous albums it must really be a piece of shit, and
knowing the post-grunge style, a boring one at that. BTW, " and, as a whole, chill out and do nothing
impressive whatsoever. " I don't remember laughing so hard in a while. Pos'd.

I'm not sure why people are complaining about the middle section. It seems clear to me that there
isn't anything worth discussing...

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


OMG CLICHED LYRICS AND POWER CHORDS RUINED IT FOR ME

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

but isn't that a legitimate reason to dislike this? i mean i went into little detail about just how bland this is, so i'm not saying this is a masterpiece, but bulldog? i'd hope it's better than that...

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
May 22nd 2011


15980 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

anyways im very sleepy so im going to bed. feel free to discuss while im gone, i'll come back in the morning with a rebuttal unless you are right about something in the review sucking (which may very well be the case)

NapalmDe4th
May 22nd 2011


54 Comments


Meh, the problem isn't the review, it's the lack of anything to review. The best you can do is not absolutely bash the band for no reason and maintain some objectivity. You did that and made a few lolworthy comments. That's good enough for an album like this.

PlaygroundFading
May 22nd 2011


433 Comments


like i said, it is better than bulldog, if only because you have a basic command of grammar...

it definitely is a legitimate reason to dislike the album, it's just probably not a good enough reason to review it

but consider two things:
1) this is review 116. does one neg really matter? I just figured it would be better to explain my reaction.
2) if this was another album, that nobody was going to review, for a band that nobody knows anything about, then this sort of thing might benefit the site... but Seether? you don't feel like you're beating a dead horse??



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy