Genre-bending fusion has long been a way to go for alternative rock bands, from Faith No More and Linkin Park to Bring Me The Horizon and beyond. Now Search & Seizure, a Kansas City, Missouri, trio, prove adept multi-taskers as, on Nothing Natural (Self-Released), they meld some spicy ingredients into a satisfying whole. Is such variety a good idea for a band still trying to forge an identity on their first full-length album? Well, yes… then no … and then, by the end, yes again.
Metalcore, emo, post-punk, post-grunge and shoegaze elements are all present as the modus operandi includes chiming guitar, cool, clean, confident vocals, excellent, characterful drumming (Jason Trabue) and a bass sound reminiscent of Tool’s Justin Chancellor’s four-string titan at its most rustic, epic and mythic (even if the songs themselves are more A Perfect Circle than Tool).
There are also ringing, resounding echoes of U2 as Dave Fyten takes his guitars to The Edge. S&S prove they have considerable nous and chops and are able, at least in the early going, to project a certain poise, scope and majesty, a genuinely BIG sound, melodic and anthemic, that could work well in BIG venues.
Nothing Natural’s opening track, ‘Save Us From Ourselves’, quickly establishes that modus operandi (vocalist/bassist Gene Abramov, take a bow), ‘Lazar’ confirms this band are ripe for the arenas, with a spark of class to set the moshers ablaze, ‘Subterranean’ keeps the heads up and the bar high, and that rumbling bass is to the fore to open ‘Flight Risk’, a real stand-out.
‘Mirror’ is another highlight, anthemic and melodic again, a haunting song with its own vivid atmosphere that rocks out powerfully in the end, though ‘Island’ is something of a too-poppy misstep, with shades of ‘Rio’ and Duran Duran (Egads! – but, yes, I do realise they’re heading in November to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame).
Nothing Natural kicks off strongly with four or five gems, becoming less distinctive throughout the mid-stretch before recovering its full dignity, and while there’s nothing essentially new, and a certain sameness creeps in, that’s only in comparison to the first five winners.
Buy the album here: http://www.searchandseizuremusic.com
7 / 10