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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 191 - 04/06/12

Magic Handshake
Black Widow

Seid imploded in the early fall of 2006. According to the band members themselves they had, by then, reached the outskirts of both stupidity and the universe, peeped over the edges and didn't fancy what they saw. Five and a half years later both stupidity and the universe have expanded so much it's time for reawakening. In fact they started anew in the autumn 2010 and here is the result, so far: a brand new double LP and single CD. The crew is about the same as before apart from a new drummer, Martin Victor. He is Seid's fourth. A bit Spinal Tap'ish, eh? Let's hope the other three didn't explode...

The band returns at about the same spot as they left with Creatures Of The Underworld. They're still dealing with space rock with some detours towards progressive and heavy rock. The psychedelic elements of the debut album Among The Monster Flowers Again are less overt except for the sitar-driven start of "Tron", some phaser effects here and bubbling synths there. The opening song makes the necessary statement: "Space Pirates Return"!

Compared to Creatures ..., it seems Magic Handshake is a bit dirtier with more nasty guitars and a little less keyboards. But don't misunderstand, here are several calmer and keyboard dominated parts as well, to keep everyone happy. The finest Seid happening I've witnessed was a gig in Oslo about 2005. One of the guys told me they'd intentionally practiced to play slower. It worked really excellent. The band's strongest material stands out even more in that kind of viscous wrapping. I suspect some of the songs of Magic Handshake, too, might've gained if the tempo had been pitched down a little bit. The slow and calm tracks were the obvious winners first time I heard the album, not least the floating spherical "Sister Sinsemilia" that threatens to glide beyond the edge of the universe, with an approving synth-nod to the start of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". The aforementioned "Tron" with some haunting and some calm parts, including a beautiful hair-raising mellotron interlude, is another immediate winner. Slowly the others follow suit. All of them have their moments, the guitar-mayhem ending of "The Dark Star Is Waiting", the half-funky dynamics followed by spherical calmness of "Space Rock Dogma", the twin guitar-keyboard intro and beautiful lead and harmony vocals towards the end of the ballad (so to speak) "Decode The Glow" including female guest singer Stina Stjern, the funky Hammond break of the title track before the band slowly rebuilds the melody, etc. etc.

All in all Magic Handshake is up there with Creatures Of The Underworld. But I suspect the band's creative potential has not reached its peak quite yet. So, if the band members keep up the spirit, keep to the speed limit and don't reach the above mentioned outskirts again, I guess we might be in for even better delights sometime in the not too distant future. If you're not sure what physical format of the album to choose, I'd strongly recommend the luxurious double LP with gatefold sleeve and tasteful print on both the outside and the inner sleeves. The print quality of the CD cover is quite crap and the cover threatens to dissolve because of the loose texture of the cardboard.

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You may also want to check out our Seid articles/reviews: Among The Monster Flowers Again, Creatures Of The Underworld, Meet The Spacemen, Mines of Moria EP, Silver Messenger, What Seid said - an interview.

© 2012 Luna Kafé