The Furious Seasons are an LA-based folk trio made up of David Steinhart and Paul Nelson on acoustic guitar and vocals and Jeff Steinhart on upright bass. The groups 5th album “Look West” is released on October 7th.
The album opens with “Longshot”, the bands stripped back sound is surprisingly well rounded with Steinhart’s voice taking the upper register, the acoustic guitars filling the middle ground and the upright bass adding lots of warmth in the lower frequencies. The track is a folky affair with the influence of Bob Dylan making itself very clear.
“What’s Coming Next” is a delicate track with airy chords and some great lead guitar work but I think what stands out about this track are the vocal harmonies, which really help give the song that extra bit of flavour it needs.
The sixth track, “Badman” mixes things up with a bouncy waltz-time tune. Lyrically the song revolves around Steinhart’s inability to act like a bad person, despite it being a trait that’s seen as desirable by his love interest. It’s a nice tune but the whole nice guy thing that he’s for comes off as a bit childish. Regardless of that, the track still has a nice melody and once again the harmonies are very much on point.
“Simple and Clean” has a rockier feeling to it, with a “Sultans of Swing” sort of vibe to it. The uptempo song does well to break up the monotony of the ballads that make up most of the album. The juxtaposition between the poppy chorus and the rougher verses works really well.
“Roll Out the Future” has a lovely jazzy feel to it, which is definitely aided by the upright bass. The song deals with moving on from a breakup, with love and relationships being a constant theme on this album I think it would’ve been nice for there to be a bit more lyrical variety. The solo in the middle of this track is a definite highlight.
The tenth tune on the album, “The Tape” sees the introduction of keys, which helps spice up the instrumentation a bit. This song is about a child who’s parents die “Did your father try/In vain to reconcile/Your mother’s dying/During the birth of their third child?/Did he lose the will to live?”. The change in subject matter is definitely a welcome change at this point, though there is little else about this song that sets it apart from others on the album.
The final track is a sentimental ballad called “Glad It’s Mine” that deals with friendship and alcoholism. Once again it’s nice to see some diversity in the lyrics. The tracks dynamics are also quite nice, becoming quiet in the verses with an energetic chorus.
“Look West” isn’t a bad album by any stretch of the imagination but it’s definitely not without its faults. Dylan-esque pop folk sound works really well with Steinhart’s vocals and songwriting style, but it doesn’t feel that there’s 12 songs worth of material here. If it had been whittled down to a leaner running time, trimming out some of the less memorable tunes I think it could’ve held its own much better.