Last summer, these South African upstarts went where few neo-grunge hitmakers have gone before: OzzFest, a place where Creed and Nickelback are dirty words. On their first album, Seether save most of their animosity for one song, the mosh-friendly outburst "Fuck It." The ugliness doesnít stop there, but the rest of the bandís tuneful angst is aimed squarely at the pop charts.
Frontman Shaun Morgan learned everything he knows from Kurt Cobain, and with producer Jay Baumgardner and session drummer Josh Freese working their usual studio magic, the discís crossover appeal is a given. "And I am aware now of how everythingís gonna be fine one day/Too late, Iím in Hell," grumbles Morgan on "Fine Again," his guitar shifting reliably from a whisper to a scream. On "Driven Under," his brooding takes a turn for the worse when the object of his desire pulls a gun on him. The light at the end of the tunnel is the unplugged ballad "Broken," on which Morgan chooses love over hate and melody over aggression. Like most of their peers, Seether occasionally get bogged down in lethargic tempos, but theyíve got the hooks and the firepower to compete in the big leagues.
(Seether perform this Sunday, May 25, at the Tweeter Center as part of the River Rave. Call 617-228-6000.)