The Sea-Ders – Thanks a Lot
Here’s a tasty little psychedelic fillip to get you through your Friday, or your whatever, really:
Check it out: the Sea-Ders. I’m going to be a little anthrosociocultural linguistic detective here and guesstimate that their name is a reference to the famed cedars of Lebanon, with a little English play on words to demonstrate their allegiance to the Union Jack and their related musical invasion. Cool, right?
What we have here is the Sea-Ders, in “Thanks a Lot,” putting a deliciously filligreed touch on a pretty typical slice of Rubber Soul-era, Rubber Soul-influenced pop. But boy oh boy, what a touch it is. These young lads are really fleet of finger, what with rococo arabesques of minor-key guitar framing what is essentially a candy-coated hand-clapper.
It turns out that Lebanese modalities have a surprising (and welcome) overlap with early psychedelic brooding, something “Thanks a Lot” really underscores. The guitar solo in particular pries open that third eye, heaping on serious amounts of otherworldliness and Otherness in more or less equal measure. (Another delicious element: that unbalanced, rolling, sinister bassline. Boy, does that get me.)
Peep that date: 1966. This is from that amazing early, early era of experimental rock where every year marked an exponential growth of creativity, daring, and complexity. And 1966 is pretty early to be sounding this awesome.
Anyway, I don’t know much about these guys, except that this song is the lead track off of the superb compilation Waking Up Scheherazade, which explores first-wave garage-psych nuggets from the Middle East. I also know that other Sea-Ders songs don’t really touch the magic of “Thanks a Lot”.* Pretty excellent stuff, if you ask me.
*In a way, that’s to be expected, as so many of these 7″ garage bands were good for one or two spectacular songs and a whole bunch of derivative pap. And, you know, somehow, I find that really alluring about this era: nebulous bands forming and disbanding in some sort of unknowable viscous, primordial psychedelic stew, briefly sparking genius before resuming their normal lives.