6 Feb 2023
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Sea Mouse - EP Review: Evil Heart

27 Jul 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

There is a time in many music lover’s lives when they finally fall into the caress of the blues. Everyone has their own genre they prefer, but the best blues is that which really calls to the listener on an emotional level, and for me that means two very different strands, and my favourite depends on what I am feeling like on any particular day. The first of these is acoustic pre-war, with Blind Lemon Jefferson being a particular favourite, while the second is the raggedy electronic version which exploded out of the States at the end of the Fifties and the beginning of the 60’s. While I like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and others of that slightly earlier period, for me the main man was one Samuel John 'Lightnin' Hopkins. I can honestly say I own as many albums by him as I do all other blues players combined as there is something about his urgency, his style, his playing which can be both frantic or laid back and full of soul.

So why start a Sea Mouse review by giving a potted blues history and then talk about someone many of you will have never heard of and who died 40 years ago? Because these guys have taken him as an inspiration and then delivered this EP, that’s why. The trio of Seamus Johnson (vocals, guitar), Scott Maynard (bass), and Thomas Friggens (drums) have also brought in keyboard player Dayle Jellyman (Miles Calder, Three Rays) to create music which sounds modern yet also as if it belongs to 60 years ago. There is so much space within their music that one could drive a truck through it, yet they are so tight that all one can do when listening to this is move, baby! Dayle is playing what sounds like a Hammond B3, which immediately takes us solidly into that period, while Seamus allows his guitar to gently talk to us at some moments, then ripping into fuzzed distortion at others.

David Coverdale sang the words “I love the blues, They tell my story, If you don't feel it you can never understand” and that is exactly where Sea Mouse are coming from. They are known for being much more in your face, playing garage rock mixed with delta blues to get people jumping, but here they have brought in all that power and tension and have put it in these five songs. Emotional, powerful, this is blues which is raw, powerful and compelling.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Sea Mouse

Sea Mouse is the latest project of renowned Wellington singer/ songwriter Seamus Johnson, who is no stranger to the Wellington live circuit, having supported international bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Helmet, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jack Broadbent and performing in bands Elston Gun, Paperscissors and solo for the last 10 years.

Johnson's self-titled debut, recorded over the later half of 2016 with master producer Toby Lloyd at Park Road Post Production, encompasses his Delta blues origins, alongside his electrified, hard hitting energetic live performances.  

Channeling the thunder and swagger of Jack White & Led Zeppelin and the lyrical subjects akin to Douglas Adams and Alexei Sayle, Sea Mouse is the reincarnation of the primitive, visceral electric blues that you’ve been missing out on.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sea Mouse

Releases

Evil Heart
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Tropical Fish
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Sea Mouse
Year: 2017
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge 10th Birthday Part 1 @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 29/01/2023
03 Feb 2023 // by Kev Rowland
The original Ding Dong Lounge was founded in New York City in 2001 by Bill Nolan, opening on the upper west side of Manhattan and slowly gaining a following of talented artists, writers, actors, and musicians. In 2003, Bill Walsh opened Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne, branding itself with a live gig atmosphere that easily upheld Ding Dong’s rock reputation.
Read More...
Beckoned - Single/Video Review: Luminous
01 Feb 2023 // by Kev Rowland
The word “supergroup” is not one to be bandied around lightly, yet that was very much the first thing which came to mind when I came across the new formation of Beckoned. During one of the many lockdowns, guitarist Nail Vincent (Devilskin) started working on new material, and he played some to his old bandmate, bassist Munro Goodwin (Sinate) and pretty soon they were working on the material together with drummer Corey Friedlander (City of Souls,8 Foot Sativa), but who would be the singer?
Read More...
Flying Man - Single Review: Under The Stars
31 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Flying Man is the stage name of Dunedin based Irish-born live-looping guitarist and singer/songwriter Alan Ned Gray. Flying Man’s song-writings sit in the electroacoustic realm - playing programmed beats, live looping and layered harmonies.
Read More...
Crying Club - EP Review: Big Water Bottle
31 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It is some 18 months since I last reviewed a recording by Crying Club, which was the single Taxi Man, but I did see them at EmoFest last year where three of the songs on this five-track thirteen-minute-long EP were played. While their music is solidly rooted in the indie scene, they manage to also bring in other genres as they cross genres, bringing rock and metal quite strongly into their poppy mix.
Read More...
Gig Review: Midnight Green & Kazia @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 21/01/2022
21 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
After being blasted the previous night at Dead Witch, tonight I was at The Thirsty for what promised to be a very different affair indeed, with two soul/jazz/pop bands. Beforehand I was talking to the bar manager who told me that soon they will be closing for renovations, after which they will open up with the stage in a different place, and it promises to be much improved, so I am really looking forward to seeing the end results.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Rising Tide @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 20/01/2023
20 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back to Dead Witch tonight for my first time seeing The Rising Tide who were up from Palmerston North in support of their excellent new EP, The Hope We Die For. They had also invited a few other bands who I have seen before, namely Brawler NZHC who I saw supporting Xile, plus favourites Unwanted Subject and Pale Flag who were both at the Downfall of Humanity release show.
Read More...
Gig Review: Music In Parks - Helensville @ Helensville River Reserve, Auckland - 15/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Each Summer, the Auckland Council put on a series of free outdoor concerts in different places around the city, and today was the second this year, and definitely had a country flavour with Keith Pereira, Louis Jarlov and Sam Bartells. Not only are the shows free, but they all take place in the afternoon, so this gig was set to take place between 1 and 4!
Read More...
Gig Review: Ovus @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 14/01/2023
15 Jan 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Having spent an incredible two weeks at home on South Island, it was now back up to Auckland and it was soon back into the live scene with my first gig at Dead Witch for 2023. Tonight was going to be interesting as I recently reviewed Ovus’s EP, Lucid, and it would be the first time I had seen Afterlight since they changed their name from Antebellum.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • FLOWERS
    Miley Cyrus
  • KILL BILL
    SZA
  • ESCAPISM.
    RAYE feat. 070 Shake
  • SURE THING
    Miguel
  • UNHOLY
    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
  • PLAYERS
    Coi Leray
  • PEOPLE
    Libianca
  • MADE YOU LOOK
    Meghan Trainor
  • CREEPIN'
    Metro Boomin, The Weeknd And 21 Savage
  • MESSY IN HEAVEN
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem