Local Record Review: Tomorrows Bad Seeds

Beat Blvd. is Heard Mentality's weekly review of local releases. If you're an OC musician or band with something new to offer--vinyl single, full length album, CD, cassette--we want to hear from you! Send copies, along with any photos and PR material, to Beat Blvd., c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Suite 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can also e-mail us digital downloads at lbose@ocweekly.com.

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Tomorrows Bad Seeds
Sacred for Sale
Urbantone Records

The SoCal version of reggae seems especially friendly to metal--call it the combination of guitar geeks loving Andy Summers of the Police crossed with everyone who at least partially remembered KNAC. 

Tomorrows Bad Seeds have more than a little of that interspersed among their general Jamaica-inspired approach, and if the result is more pleasant than noteworthy it's still little surprise why the band's built up a steady fanbase over the years. 

There's little in the way of radical reinventions beyond notable soloing--on songs like "Only for You" and "Creation" they sound almost a bit like prime Def Leppard Hysteria-era guitars (which, given said band's Phil Collen's longtime residency in Laguna Beach might explain much). 

"Tell Me Why" relies on a chunky riff as much as a straightforward rhythm lope (and its midsong break features both some of the best guitar and vocals on the album), while "Slow Down" takes a full on plunge into ska-punk in comparison. Given the message of the song it's a pretty nice way of having their cake and eating it too. 

"Sacred for Resale" is pure Epitaph punk straight up. There's also something fun about hearing the start of "Further" and how it almost sounds a bit like the start of "Stairway to Heaven." (With more keyboards, admittedly.) 

The best song might be "Change," with its swathes of echo, polite scratching and a lyric admitting that change is something that needs more than one person to make happen--a simple enough thought, perhaps, but all too apt these days.


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