CD Review of Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces by Seether
Recommended if you like
Alice in Chains, Creed,
Marilyn Manson,
Not having a pulse
Wind-Up Records
Finding Beauty
in Negative Spaces

Reviewed by Mojo Flucke, PhD


ombining the worst musical traits of Pearl Jam, Tool, and Linkin Park, Seether's latest features the best of breathless non-singing, a technique practiced by an increasing number of white people who can neither rap nor carry a tune. Emotionally charged like a bottle of prescription barbiturates, this power-packed distortion-fest kicks off with the midtempo ditty "Like a Suicide," and its unbelievably uplifting line "You set me up to fucking fail this time," which, after they shout it over and over 20 or 30 times, almost makes one want to move on to track two, "Fake It," and hear how great it is. That number’s a little more up-tempo, with an emotional accent on the line "Whoa, you're such a fucking hypocrite." Do we even need to say what the song title "FMLYHM" stands for? Yes? "Fuck Me Like You Hate Me." Ugh.

Like, life throws enough downers at us in the form of traffic jams, medical bills, and Mike Huckabee. Who deliberately takes on more for kicks and giggles? It's clear these guys love to be miserable; they wear it on their sleeves, probably in hopes of dragging you right down there with them.

The rest of the CD’s a lot more of the same, making it for the most part a forgettable also-ran in the post-metal, allegedly melodic world of suburban rock. The whole record would be perhaps the most abysmal failure of the decade, if it weren't for a couple of cuts that completely diverge from the rest of the set, namely the little electro-acoustic pop hit "Rise Above This," which would be ironic if it didn't actually accomplish just that by contrasting with the cesspool of depression and jaded boredom surrounding it. And what is this? "6 Gun Quota" takes a page from the Foo Fighters playbook, driving those basic, punchy riffs hard into the heart of a pop chorus that works on all counts. But lest we forget, for just a second, that this group named after a Veruca Salt cut might actually rise above their self-imposed funk, they close out the record with songs whose titles say everything you need to know: "Walk Away From the Sun," "Eyes of the Devil," "Don't Believe," and "Waste." As opposed to actual songs that other artists have recorded with titles like "Walking on Sunshine" or "You've Got to Stand for Something (Or You're Going to Fall for Anything)."

Enough said.

Oh wait, that album art’s abominable, too. And another thing: For those constructing their own junk-rock family tree, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan used to be thick with Amy Lee of Evanescence. She wrote "Call Me When You're Sober" about him. Now that’s enough said.

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