Review Summary: I guess it took a while for grunge to reach South Africa
Shaun Morgan: vocals, guitar
Dale Stewart: bass, backing vocals
Nick Oshiro: drums
Originally named Saron Gas, this band changed their name to Seether when they released this, their second album and major label debut. After achieving some success with their first album Fragile
which was only released in South Africa, they caught the attention of Wind-Up Records who signed them but asked them to change their name Saron Gas which could be interpreted as sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent. They changed their name to “Seether” after the Veruca Salt song.
With their melodic but (somewhat) heavy sound, it is heavily influenced by another trio: Nirvana. The Nirvana/grunge influence is evident mainly in the first half with emotional tracks like Fine Again
with it’s simple yet beautiful guitar arrangements, much like most of Nirvana’s songs, it is built around three or four guitar notes that are able to convey the emotions of the track. Shaun’s vocals don’t carry the power of Kurt Cobain’s but they are just as heartfelt and you can feel the emotion in his voice.
The tracks are depressing yet aggressive, with the mood lightening up as the album progresses, the first half contains the best tracks and there is a nostalgic vibe that takes you back to the glory days of grunge. The second half is a little catchier and more along the lines of bands like Staind. The album closes with Broken
a track that was re-recorded with Shaun’s one-time girlfriend and Evanescence vocalist Amy Lee. The original version (the one on this album) is much better and its driven beautifully by an acoustic guitar and Shaun’s soul-bearing vocals.
When Seether falters it’s on tracks like Fxxk It,
where the overly aggressive sound is just not convincing. Seether is at their best with the slower, more emotional tracks like the excellent Driven Under
with it’s slow, subtle guitar and Shaun’s tortured vocals.
Straddling genres like grunge and hard rock, Seether may not have created anything new but Disclaimer
is a very good although somewhat inconsistent album. The emotions displayed on some of these tracks mainly the superb Fine Again
are truly touching and it conveys emotion through the guitar and the vocals, it is definitely the highlight of the album. An excellent debut (as Seether at least) that they have yet to improve upon.
Best songs: Fine Again, Driven Under, Broken