3 out of 10: Many influences manhandled into an overreaching mess
Oscar Wilde once noted that all bad poetry springs from genuine feeling. I have no doubt that on the panegyric to a love an ocean away, Dinosaur, that the sentiments expressed on the song spring from genuine feeling. Nevertheless, “our love is a dinosaur, hear it roar” and “our love could survive a war without the slightest sore” is just execrable poetry.
Seizures is replete with such hamfisted lyrics. Instead of setting his sights lower and settling for less-challenging, fun-loving pop lyrics, the band’s singer-songwriter, Darren Cordeux, makes himself appear foolish by failing miserably in his every attempt at achieving any kind of profundity.
Of course, lyrical concerns are of little overall import when rocking out is the aim, and Seizures does feature a number of hummable choruses abounding in hooks. Kisschasy schooled themselves on the indie-pop kings of the late 80s and early 90s — Nirvana, The Pixies, Pavement — so their odd jangles and fills are tempered by a delight in melody. And in this regard, Kisschasy have been served well by Rob Schnapf, producer on albums by Beck and Powderfinger amongst others, whose clear and layered production adds the right anthemic sheen to what could have been a sonic mess in less-able hands.
What big choruses can’t make up for, though, is a lack of songcraft. The verses are generally non-events: unmelodic, meandering, forgettable. And without the setting of a stage, a build up, the choruses seem to hit from nowhere, without purpose. A lack of variety in tempo or song structure only exaggerates the sense that the verses, choruses and the bridges which make up the songs on Seizures could be swapped around without anyone noticing, as if all the bits and pieces were slapped together without forethought.
On Strawberry Jam, Cordeux opines “I’m just regular, regular”.