Seedy Gonzales
Seedy Gonzales ep
/gigantic; 2005/


Seedy Gonzales makes tongue-in-cheek country-rock music.  Singer Johnny Riley sounds like Lou Reed and most of the songs on this EP are laid back affairs where focus should be directed on lyrics and chilled out instrumentation.  It’s not relaxing music—sometimes the band can kick up a jam—but it’s all stuff you’d love to be listening to after a few beers at your local bar.  That’s not to say they are a bar band; Seedy Gonzales have more talent than that.  They also reference PJ Harvey on top of other things, so you can feel safe that they are within the indie realm.  Since there are five songs on this EP let’s go into all of them.

“Just Killin’ Time (Before Time Kills Me)” is the most blatantly ‘country’ track here, though I’m tempted to describe it more as honky-tonk.  The songs title is repeated in the chorus and there are a couple of hobo instruments in there.  “Italian in N.Y.” is a quick comedown; the instrumentals are light and ambient.  Keyboard, drums and sparse plucking accompany Riley’s tale of, well, a lonely (Italian) woman in New York.  “Maddies Day” at first reminds of the quieter turns on Yo La Tengo’s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One until some periodic electric guitar spurts introduce themselves (I guess also like Yo La Tengo).  “Kerouac & Burroughs” is the most languid song here, featuring only piano and barely there percussion throughout (Riley’s lazy drawl included, of course).  On “Love’s Theosophy” a couple of acoustic guitars play around as a story of love and kisses is told.  Basically this EP is a good effort and might please fans of alt-country, or more specifically, those alt-country fans that are clever enough to get the interesting references.  Also, the EP is fragmented—the songs are inconsistent and do not flow well with each other.  If the band can conjure an album where everything congeals properly into a whole, then maybe I’d be more interested.

-Andrew Iliadis

/march 2006/