Music Reviews
Seeds On Stone

Limbs Seeds On Stone

(Self-released) Rating - 5/10

The few quick-paced bass notes that jumped out within the first couple seconds of Whitewash initially led me to think I’d be hearing something other than mid-tempo pleasantries over the entirety of Seeds On Stone, third release from Brooklyn free agents, Limbs.  As somewhat of a jam band, Limbs enjoy trailing off, exchanging electrical fluids amongst themselves in a rehearsed and disciplined environment.  Call it prog lite and Whitewash its attempt at changing pace: the centerpiece of an otherwise one-speed album.

Seeds On Stone would find itself the rarity in a collection whose owner deems Beck “outlandish” or “esoteric” and Foo Fighters “heavy duty,” its sterility a cover for the actual musicianship that’s employed.  It has the charm of attempting to rock, but its annoyingly noncommittal, which almost challenges the album’s titular notion that maybe, just maybe, placing seeds on rocks would yield a heartier offering. 

And, in spite of this, I wanted to like the album because it showcases some stellar playing.  Second track, In The Fray, has a sturdy backbone of a low end and the guitar harmonies are just really enjoyable to listen to.  It’s the type of song you would certainly hear from a band that wanted inclusion in the Azerrad-scribed “indie” elite, as it flirts with both stomp and subtlety.  The bass line in To Open A Vault momentarily swallows the band’s drum kit as the bell cymbal basically pounds its way out of obscurity.  For any momentary blasts or frolicking skips away from what seems to be the plan, Limbs reel it back enough to keep the songs intact. 

Like I said:  prog lite.

But, for as much as Limbs can play, they are infatuated with mid-tempo playing.  There’s no speed.  There’s no crawl.  There’s only a medium stride.  It’s a walk in the park and it really shouldn’t be.   

This similarly paced structure works for the album’s title track, (first song on the album so there are no comparables at that point); it’s okay with Mediator, Clean The Slate; it almost changes up with the aforementioned Whitewash.  But, the second half of the album goes nowhere, its only reprieve its final track, Heads Above Water, which carries a great riff and a breakdown that wakes the album up a bit.

Seeds On Stone is risk free and the irony of the title is that it summarizes the album: No real growth.  Limbs are talented and tight enough to know how to make a song work; how do keep it fresh, how to feign vitriol in the right moments so passion can be conveyed.  But, the sterility of their output speaks louder than they do, Jeff Stultz’s light and airy vocal mostly a distraction, and the band’s refusal to find more than one way to play a betrayal to their abilities