The Seeds, Raw And Alive The Seeds In Concert

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Raw And Alive The Seeds In Concert

The Seeds

Could the Seeds cut it live? With disc jockey Humble Harv Miller providing a prescient echo of J.C. Crawford's immortal MC5 testimonial ("Brothers and Sisters!"), Sky and the band tear through a few greatest hits and some songs unique to this album backed by a screaming crowd on their Southern California home turf.

Fabled pre-punks kick out the jams at the dawn of the classic rock era

Dating from 1968, it shows how quickly the Seeds 'star was about to topple into the abyss, despite the fine playing and punchy performances on this disc. Though only two years separate Raw and Alive from their groundbreaking debut, the rock & roll scene had undergone seismic change. A new sense of maturity cloaked the now-progressive rock of the late '60s, bursting out of the ballroom scene in San Francisco and the English emergence of "heavier" guitar bands like Cream.

Even though Saxon and his cohorts had valiantly tried to keep up (their previous album was credited to the Sky Saxon Blues Band), there was no way they could match the virtuosity and improvisations that were bringing the music to a new level of conceptual complexity, nor escape their "teenybopper" status. Listening these many years later, though, it doesn't seem to matter much to the immediacy of Raw and Alive. The group itself would find renewed influence when rock music stripped itself back down, growing the family trees of the Stooges and the Ramones.