Apocalypse Cow, v. 1 – SeepeopleS
Add SeepeopleS to the lengthening list of jambands-by-association. This band’s choices of venues, bill pairings and past collaborators, evokes Phish far more than its concise, zero-fat songs.
Imagine Summerteeth-era Wilco writing its own Living with War and you’ll have a sense of what Will Bradford and his Asheville, NC-based band are up to here. The title track, with its Bush-esque central character (or is it Cheney? Rumsfeld?), makes the current-events theme explicit, and the topic is never far from the agenda. Bradford’s complaints of feeling like the “Last Sane Man” may seem a bit whiny, but he seems to acknowledge this issue on the next song (“I’ll never claim to be right again”), and he has enough power-pop hooks to keep the CD’s momentum from flagging. Quite a bit of late 60’s comprehension, too: “The Sun Is With You” is a slice of cosmic reassurance which could have come right off of the Beach Boys’s Friends.
As well, the band’s approach to CD structure is intriguing. The two children’s-movie “Interlude” segments may send hands reaching for the fast-forward button after the first listen, but they subdivide the disc nicely. A medium-rocking opening segment and a ballad-heavy close surround a middle section (which could have run longer than two songs) that sounds like the product of a long 1966 Lennon listening session.
Quite a few artists who had the world’s ear in the Vietnam era lost it by 1975, and as much as one hopes for a saner administration to succeed Bush/Cheney, one wonders where this will leave the Will Bradfords of our era. SeepeopleS may be biting off more than they can chew with the Volume One, too. For now, though, Apocalypse Cow is an honest document of being young, uncertain and angry in 2007.