Monday, February 7, 2011

Quick Review - The Mustard Seeds - III

The Mustard Seeds started out as the brainchild of the Bissonette brothers (Matt and Gregg, bass and drums respectively). Not to slight the other blokes in the band but Matt and Greg have played with the likes of David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani, Rick Springfield, Ty Tabor, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne, Boz Scaggs, Pat Boone, Santana, and Richard Marx. PAT BOONE, BABY!! But Gregg is a busy session/live drummer so eventually he decided to earn some money and split. The current lineup is George Bernhardt, Doug Bossi and Jorge Palacios.

A few years back I picked up their self-titled The Mustard Seeds album. Pretty good, similar to Jughead, but a bit lacking in depth. They have more than made up for this lack on their third album in 2008, creatively titled III and released independently. The album starts with "Lost In Flight," a brief a cappella song rich in harmonies. "Complicated World" digs in with heavy low-tuned distortion and a gusty, swaggering riff topped with creamy vocal harmonies. Sure, these boys take after King's X but King's X hasn't created an album this gorgeous or filled with intelligent Christian lyrics in decades. "To Die For" could be a Foo Fighters song (without the screaming) from back in the day when Grohl could write a good song... powerful and punchy, this song is one big yearning of the day we finally see Christ face to face ("All I need to do is die to meet you.") The mid-tempo rocker "Dorian Grey" packs in more lush vocal harmonies while "Oxygen" cranks up the distortion while layering on more encouraging vocal melodies and lyrics such as "Wherever I walk You're the crutch I lean on / You're the air that I breath / You're oxygen." "Hunting With Cheney" is another rocker, this one showing a Libertarian-leaning bent, leading to the slow, encouraging "Move On" which pairs clean guitars, orchestral strings and lyrics such as "Just get up off your back side and / Move on, move on, move on." "Maybe Next Year" is another slow cooker packed with hope for better days, sliding into three solid heavy songs that could have been on the Jughead album. The final track, "Outer Space", adds in some inventive and spacey sounds before launching into a final round of ear-tickling vocal harmonies.

Is if this isn't enough they include one of the best "hidden" tracks I've heard in years. Yes, it's the Might Mustard Marching Machine. Crowd noises adorn a marching band playing snippets of various songs off the album which an each musician is given a few moments on the mic to thank their family and friends in a post-game mode. It's all good fun. Oh, and be sure to try the saltwater taffy. I hear it’s incredible.

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