- 01 Apr 21
Rejoice! Seafoam Green are back on duty!
Remember rock n' roll, kids? It was bloody exciting, wasn't it? It's nearly gone now, of course. Turn on the radio next to you - if you still have such a thing - and lay back as the same seven or eight "songs" wash over and past you, seven variations of the same old thing, squeezed through several nefarious machines until all sign of the "voice" of the air-brushed young lad/one whose name is on it is all but gone, not that it was much use in the first place. Still though, they look nice, scrubbed up to a sheen, with all the corners planed off. Play that corporate boogie all night long until we all pass away from the sheer nothingness of the whole rig-a-ma-role.
Know what I'm talking about? Sick of it? I can dig it. Good thing then that there are still bands like Seafoam Green out there, who remember that the whole point of being a rock n' roll band is that you are supposed to fucking rock. Rock n' roll bands were not put on this earth to make friends with your arse - unless we're talking about after the show - they were put on this earth to kick it. The Green - as they shall now be known, for it is written - don't need to be told any of this, because they've always known it. In the blessed name of De Selby, that great natural philosopher who we should honour every April 1st, let us pull a hair from either Seafoam head - go on, they can spare it - and stick it under the nearest microscope. Get down to the nitty gritty and extract a polynucleotide chain at random. I can guarantee you the sequence will read 'ROCKNROLLn' - the n, of course, representing infinity in this equation, as in there is no end to it.*
"Give over you, you drunken idiot!" I hear you say. "That's all blackboard jibba-jabba, and you know it. Where's your proof?" Well, stop your yapping and start your tapping, because here it is, the first single from The Green's forthcoming second album. Put a pinch of this in your pipe.
All shall be revealed to you in a slide guitar/organ massaging/drum beating/soul wailing Damascene flash! Put your glass down and remove all jewellery. Are you ready? Right, watch it, and then watch it again. I'll wait.
"That is bloody good, damn bloody good! What's all that chat about 'wetting your wood'? Tell us more about this Seafoam Green!"
I could mention here that Dave O'Grady and Muireann McDermott Long are both Irish - with names like that, they were hardly going to be Austrian - but this is only a bonus point, it's not a free pass. If you're Irish, come into the parlour, by all means, but don't barge in roaring and shouting, with empty pockets, eat all the biscuits, drink all the tea, and then snake off. Bring something to the goddamn party. Seafoam Green have already done that and for proof I shall refer you to this review of their first album, Topanga Mansion, published on these very pages back in the year of our lord, 2017. Though it was written by a young - and handsome - cub reporter who had yet to truly find his feet and spread his wings, it soundly attests to the merits of that fine, fine record. If you are unfamiliar with their thang than consider this your lucky day. Have at it, and thank me later.
In even more exciting news, the lucky people of the planet Earth can now pre-order album #2, Martin's Garden. Let me tell you that I have been blessed amongst all women and men by being gifted an advanced copy and I do declare it Carty's Five-Star Cast-Iron Plunger Of The Year! A full review shall be woven when the time is right, and it shall be intricate and dazzling for the weaving! Don't wait for that though, get in now and beat the rush, have it delivered directly to your door, and feel your life improved immeasurably. Play it loudly on your hi-fi so your socially distanced neighbours can dig it too and henceforth they shall know you for what you truly are, a person of refinement, taste and sound character!
A Thousand Boozers
"You can certainly juggle the vowels and the consonants, my good man," I hear the plain people of Ireland speak again, "and you more than justify whatever exorbitant salary the world's greatest cultural periodical are no doubt compensating you with, but can we take your word alone that the record is any good?" To answer, let me hand over to my good friend and graduate of the Carty Correspondence Course In How To Write Good (a postal order for only 6/11¾ is all that is required), Sir Loughnan O'Baile, who handles the band's press and public relations.
"The actual recording of Martin’s Garden only took five days but you can hear the five years of work that went into it. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with Topanga Mansion, but if that album was Seafoam Green’s apprenticeship, where the delineation between producer and artist was more pronounced, then Martin’s Garden is theirs and theirs alone. If anyone offered any suggestion about a cut here or a radio-friendly buffing up over there, they were politely dissuaded of any such unnecessary notions."
Damn it, this boy is good! I better watch myself. He continues.
"Martin’s Garden takes what was so great about the first record, and builds upon it. I only needed a few bars of lead single, ‘House On The Hill’ to let me know everything was gonna be alright. It’s not on its own either. The piano and overdriven guitar dance with each other in ‘For Something To Say’ – after the I-IV opening riff makes you drop everything - but know well enough to back off out of the way when Muireann steps forward to take over at the halfway point, the ghost of Lowell George happily haunts the warm ‘Mine All Mine’, the tambourine leads the groove in ‘Winter’s Getting Warmer’, and the exiles bring it all back home when O’Grady nods to his dad in ‘Working Man’. They even manage to defy all odds and good sense by imbuing Behan’s ‘Auld Triangle’ with a hue of soul that one might have thought impossible after hearing it gargled out in a thousand boozers. O’Grady’s smart enough to eulogise his Ma in the beautiful closer ‘My Oldest Friend’ too, just in case he needs a bed the next time he’s home."
Because I am a river to my people, let me also reveal that Seafoam Green are coming in from their Liverpudlian base to play some Irish shows in September. People with any kind of cop on at all should click on these links so that they can catch them at Voodoo in Belfast on the 16th and Dublin's The Grand Social on the 17th. I'll be there and you may feel free to send an imperial measure of stout in my direction by way of a nod for putting you straight. This is the kind of thing you can expect.
The refrain is doubtless already stuck in your head like some immovable - but far from disagreeable - tick. You don't need the keys for that house on the hill, but Seafoam Green are giving them to you anyway! Get down and get with it!
(*I am a doctor of the (very) liberal arts, not a scientist, but this is all true, probably.)