Steve n' Seagulls

Out of the ordinary does not even begin to describe how different and new this […]
October 25, 2018
Steve n' Seagulls album cover

Out of the ordinary does not even begin to describe how different and new this record turned out to be for this member of the Metal Temple. Without a more suitable term for them, I would say this is quite the experimental band. If one is allowed to say so when such term has been applied before to more complex and mostly serious and intricated projects, not to say that playing the banjo and the accordion don't require an amazing set of skills ant talent.

I have to confess that I thought of this as a slapstick and probably disrespectful approach towards timeless and legendary classics. After all,  these songs were written and recorded by some of the most accomplished and well known acts in the history of Rock and Heavy Metal. Yet, on the other hand i found it unique , imaginative, and even playful. It is to a point, almost virtuous to be able to apply a different style to songs that are almost certainly engraved in people's minds. Then again, the final purpose of art is to move us whether it is in our favorite direction or to places which make us feel dazed, confused and uncomfortable.

In that strict sense, "GRAINSVILLE" by STEVE N' SEAGULLS a full length album by a Finnish band that plays American bluegrass on what would be more Country style musical instruments. They're covering Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Glam Metal, Classic Rock and even Groove and Progressive Metal classics here, and they achieve many different goals as an artistic production but mostly create a huge question mark about this band, and their full potential. This is something that I think doesn't help their cause in achieving fame and success, particularly outside of Finland.

The conclusion of my internal debate is that STEVE N' SEAGULLS only interprets songs that fit quite accordingly as Bluegrass. Yet I can't help but wonder if they could utilize these talents more effectively with original material. Perhaps they already have, and this material is something I've merely overlooked. If they have, it would be a delight to witness something like that, without a doubt.

The first track alone and the use of the accordion as an intro to it, created a feeling for me that equaled immediate detachment.  The feelings that have always accompanied my experience with Metal music for almost 40 years now, were not present here. And as I tried to rectify this detachment, I was blown away by the realization that this was a cover from none other that LENNY KRAVITZ.  But, this was far removed away from anything that has to do with Metal and the Metal universe.  Then the next track has to be a Humor inducing bluegrass cover of PANTERA'S "I'm Broken" with little to no resemblance to the original tune made famous by the Abbott Brothers back in the 90's.  This really made me realize what an open mind I would have to have in order to review this album.

Eventually I have found myself at peace mentally with this odd scenario. I did so, by visualizing myself sitting on the porch while a bunch of talented musicians with a care free attitude towards music and life itself jammed. These musicians set no creative boundaries, and instead let the music take them where it wanted to go.  It takes real talent to be able to be original while at the same time playing only cover songs. To do so while taking those songs in a whole different direction is something special indeed. So ultimately, STEVE N' SEAGULLS' "Grainsville" is almost a perfect album if the ambiguity of originality. If I hadn't been so ostensible I would have realized it sooner. Nevertheless welcome to the Metal Temple, whatever genre or lack of genre you are!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Grainsville" Track-listing:

1. Are you gonna go my Way
2. Digging the Grave
3. Panama
4. I'm Broken
5. Alive
6. I was Made for Loving You
7. Ghost Town
8. Sabotage
9. Down to the River
10. Gimme All your loving
11. Faster than light
12. Voodoo Child

Steve n' Seagulls Lineup:

Irwin Remmel - Uncredited
Pukki Kaalinen - Uncredited
Puikkonen - Uncredited
Hermann - Uncredited
Wild Till Hiltunen - Uncredited

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