Friday, March 01, 2013

FDF Volume 3 Issue 295 - The Seahorses - Do It Yourself

Album – Do It Yourself
Artist – The Seahorses
Key Players - Stuart Fletcher – bass guitar. Chris Helme – vocals, acoustic guitar and backing vocals.  Andy Watts – drums, backing vocals. John Squire - guitar
Produced By – Tony Visconti

Release Date – June 1997

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I think it has to do with the hub bub about the Stone Roses playing Cochella this year.

Overview – John Squire formed the band in 1996 after he left the Stone Roses. He met Fletcher and Helme soon after. Fletcher was a guitar tech for a band that Squire saw by accident and Helme was found signing in the street. Watts auditioned and the band was set. They'd release this lone album, tour some and break up while writing the followup.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Right out of the gate “I Want You to Know” grabs you. The guitar tone from Squire is to die for. Helme has a perfect voice for the music and Fletcher seems to walk all over the fret board with the bass line. Watts keeps it largely in check, but Squire just seems like a caged animal, tossing out the big riffs. The guitar is busy,but so perfect all at the same time. There is a break down where Watts and Fletcher have some interplay before Squire gets to take off on the solo, which is short, before they return to the verse/chorus and a second breakdown and it slowly swells back for a rowdy conclusion. “Blinded By The Sun” starts a little more subtle with Squire and Fletcher working in Watts at the intro. Watts gets around his kit, and Fletcher puts down some quick short fills and then Helme begins the vocals. Its a calmer and mellower tune. It has that Manchester ballad feel, with the big guitars and soaring choruses. We pick up the pace on “Suicide Drive”. Squire attacks the guitar and Fletcher is always right along with him. Watts doesn't do anything too crazy, he just keeps perfect time. It seems to have a little bit of a 12 bar blues feel towards the end. Helme puts on the acoustic guitar as “The Boy In The Picture” begins. Its another pretty sounding tune, with the cockney vocals and some of the chopping guitar licks from Squire. Fletcher continues to shine, seeming to find the right place to put everything down. The track, for me, that is the stand out comes in “Love Is the Law”. Did this ever end up on Guitar Hero, or Rock Band? Man it is good. The guitar sound is just to die for, A solo Squire goes after it before the others join in. The tempo is moderate, but its a busy song, just really interesting. The vocals, and harmonies are perfect to. This is late 90's alternative rock...plain and simple. It follows the verse/chorus/verse pattern until Helme decides to push himself as the band sits back a little, but its just a build up! Fletcher helps Helme by adding some nice bass work and then the support on vocals and it crashes back in before the big set up, another run of the chorus and then its the Squire show..from 3:09 just dig it. The band goes towards this great instrumental break down. Fletcher goes first, but when Squire comes in strap it on. Enjoy. Its a blast. I could listen to a whole album of this. The guitar sounds fucking aces. The big guitar comes back as “Happiness Is Eggshaped” gets going. There are hand claps and general good vibes on the track. Squire gets after it again, this time with Watts using his hi-hat and ride cymbals as the steady back beat.  “Love Me and Leave Me” is a tune that was co-written by Liam Gallagher (Oasis) finds the band surrounded by some strings and more work with the backing vocals. The band is pretty laid back for the tune. “Round the Universe” has Squire back attacking his guitar. He is alone at the start and then Watts gets it all going. The vocals are sung pretty quickly and its a pretty standard “rock” song. “1999” is not a cover of the Prince song. Squire takes the lead again and Fletcher follows suit with Watt putting down a solid back beat. This is a fun and choppy sounding tune. Choppy not in a bad way, just the way the guitar is played, more on the attack. It has an over all good vibe with some decent playing and vocals. We have a little more of a deep groove on “Standing On Your Head”. Fletcher has a melodic bass line that he branches out and the tempo follows suit. Watt keep things in check as well as Helme keeps his vocal part somewhat laid back. As the chorus nears its gets to be a bit psychedelic and has a cool 60's vibe to it. The album closes with the quiet “Hello”. Nothing either here nor there to these ears.

Where are they now? - This is a “one and done” album from the Seahorses. Watts was asked to leave the band very early on due to “tour behavior” as well as not fitting with the bands image. He'd front a band called Mozer for a bit but they'd never release anything. Helme went on to a solo career. Fletcher is still in his local music scene After this band Squire worked as a solo artist and even “quit” music for a bit before deciding to come back to the Stone Roses.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I actually did see this band live. Their lone US tour August 1, 1997 at the Paradise in Boston.

FDF Overall Take
If you like/liked the Stone Roses you need this record. If, for anything, Squires guitar work.  The vocals and bass are very good too.  Some folks said "well if you want Stone Roses just listen" but that is not the point.  Its a decent moment in time.  If you can find it, and its probably cheap, grab it.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Love is the Law   This is the studio version w/the long solo.  Dig it.

You can still track down the record here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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