"Chemical Vacation" (Music Cartel; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I guess you'd categorize Sea of Green as "stoner rock" because the band favors those fuzzy, crunchy guitars that stoner rock is best known for. But the band goes beyond that, writing and performing songs that expand your mind in the way really good Pink Floyd does without straying so far into stoner that you think you're on a bad trip. The tracks on "Chemical Vacation" aren't the eccentric, psychedelic story chapters that Pink Floyd is famous for either, but rather individual tunes that take chances in their style and substance. 

What makes "Chemical Vacation" stand out from the other stoner bands out there (and there are some great ones) is that they seem to blend the stoner sound with the Seattle grunge sound without sinking into the soundalike grunge pit that swept the legs out from under that era so quickly. Sea of Green adds blistering lead riffs and spacey melodies and choruses to the mix, which - perhaps surprisingly - gives the music a more mainstream feel. 

Eventually, as the album nears its end, it seems to lose a little steam but, still, it's all good. Especially if you're looking for something a little different in the stoner rock genre.

Sea of Green: Matt Dowd - drums, percussion, vocals; Travis Cardinal - guitar / vocals; Eric Kuthe - bass / vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.