If you're still on the fence about picking up Seether's new album 'Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray', I've taken the time to review the disc for you. While you're reading the review you can also check out their recent acoustic performances of 'Country Song', 'Broken', and 'Rise Above This'.

Seether had a tough act to follow after the success of their last album 'Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces'. The new disc has several elements that work in it's favor, the familiar sound of the band, Shawn's a bit more adventurous with his vocals this time out, and they try a few different styles you usually don't hear from Seether. While all these things show that they are growing as a band, they fall just short of executing these elements to perfection.

The Brendan O' Brien produced album begins strong with a heavy Seether-esque riff on 'Fur Cue' and right when you start to think 'I've heard this from them before' the chorus blows in like a breath of fresh air. Something is different about the way Shawn sings on some of the new tracks and I definitely dig it. As the disc wears on there are a few songs that happen, nothing really jumped out at me (including the novelty track 'Country Song') until the slower fifth track ; 'Master of Disaster'. While the beginning of the song kind of sounds like the theme to an old soap opera my Grandma used to watch, it ends up being a pretty solid melodic track where Shawn once again messes with your expectations of his vocals.

For me the album really takes off at track 6 with a guitar rhythm that sounds like the bastard child of Blink-182 and Nickelback on 'Tonight'. A very upbeat and optimistic take which you usually don't hear from Seether but it works to great effect on this record. Morgan comically sings 'Sick of complainin' about a beautiful life'. I actually laughed out loud because I complain about Staind doing that but Seether is probably just as depressing when it comes to subject matter, but I like them so I let it slide. Tonight is the type of song I usually hate but it's probably the high point on the disc for me.

The album finishes off pretty well after 'Tonight' with the grungy yet ballad-esque 'Pass Slowly', 'Fade Out' which provides the album's best bridge section (complete with slide guitar), a few passable tracks, and then a strong finish with 'Forsaken'.

Final Verdict: I doubt we'll get a ton of hit singles from this disc but it is good and shows promise that the band is capable of things we haven't really heard them do yet...maybe next time. B+
Check out these recent acoustic performances.