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Steady David Steinhart remains a meticulous model of constancy. This is his 19th album you’ve probably never heard over three decades, unless you’ve closely followed L.A.’s pop scene, dating to previous bands Pop Art (with brothers Richard and Jeff; the latter has returned on bass for Furious Seasons’ now three LPs—a fourth Steinhart, Nathan, also guitars here!) and Smart Brown Handbag. David writes and sings warm, literate, sober, preoccupied folk pop, always well-crafted, and full of small, conspicuous, workmanlike extras (pacific strings, mellotron, piano, guitar tweets, a southern blues harmonica), and an aptitude for unpretentious, poppy hooks that’s never deserted him these many years. Some of Face like “On the Wire” and ‘History Repeats” has a morning-after Blonde on Blonde Bob Dylan see-ya-leaving-babe vibe; others like “We Go Down” or “Hey Jon” are like Nilsson covering Fred Neil or light Long Ryders. Were this group going circa 1971, David Geffen or Jac Holzman might’ve signed them. Nevertheless, talented gents like this keep making golden-hued, exquisite albums; they know they’ll make their mark with whoever finds them. (thefuriousseasons.com) The Big Takeover Jack Rabid
via The Big Takeover
by Jack Rabid
In my reviews of L.A.’s Black Watch, I’ve often wondered what John Andrew Fredrick and Co. had to do to get noticed after more than two-decades of quality thinking-man’s indie pop records. The same could be said about singer/songwriter David Steinhart. Perhaps even more so, since Steinhart has such a lovely, trilling voice, whereas Fredrick’s is more of the Dylan-to-Reed-to Go-Betweens dry-roasted type; albeit both are equal romantic-literate heartbreakers. For 24 years, whether with his two brothers in the underrated R.E.M./dBs-sweet arly 80’s L.A. band Pop Art, or for nearly two decades since with Smart Brown Handbag, Steinhart’s been a perennial cottage industry goldmine for those who carry torches for soft, finely crafted, windswept pop, like the Flying Nun obsessives gobbled on import from New Zealand in years past. And this is Steinhart’s 17th-correct, 17th album. Perhaps it’s his first as “The Furious Seaasons,” and his bassplaying brother Jeff is back riding posse. But we/methinks it will take more than a name change (maybe Steinhart needs to pop out of a giant Jell-O cake on YouTube?) to draw the eyeballs and canals that his careful, bittersweet, golden-hued lovelies full of solicitously resigned breakup intropsection merit. This time he’s even more acoustic, lightly-ringing, and quietly, unabashedly moving, in an exquisitely gentle flow that resembles the light-pop classics The Mutton Birds and their singer Don McGlashan, another New Zealander, have given us for as long. (”Back to This Side” and “Suitable Love” could even pass for McGlashan songs!) Best of all, all 13 songs are of a similar type but sit just right, like gorgeous weather that lasts from dawn to dusk, improving everyone’s mood over the duration. Don’t miss “So Long Great City” and “A Big Chunk of Change” for the closest things to up-tempo flavors akin to his pedigree; but really feel free to hit “shuffle’” because every song is as lithely graceful as the next.
Review by Matheson Kamin
You rarely find a group of musicians that create their own music with orchestral strings as part of their sound, but that is exactly what you will find with the band The Furious Seasons. The Furious Seasons is a band that takes its cue from earlier bands like The Left Banke, Electric Light Orchestra and even Poi Dog Pondering. And just like these previous bands, The Furious Seasons’ sound stands out from the rest of the music industry because of the beauty that can be found in the music from the band.
Singer-guitarist David Steinhart has taken his vast recording history and put it to use in the creation of the releases from The Furious Seasons. Along with Steinhart, his brother Jeff Steinhart plays the bass, his nephew Nate Steinhart plays the guitar, Bob Gannon plays the drums and Ray Chang adds his violin to the music to help give the band’s music its baroque feel. It’s that baroque feel in the rock music that shows up quite a bit on the band’s new album of My Analog Face.
My Analog Face begins with the track “Let’s Sweep Together”. The baroque/pop feel to the track seems to transport the listener back in time. With a beautiful arrangement that makes the song feel like it would have come out of the British Invasion and the strings that accompany the music, “Let’s Sweep Together” gives the listener the indication that they’re in for an interesting musical experience.
Strings are used once again on the album’s second track called “On the Wire”. This time, the strings help to give the song a more emotional feel than “Let’s Sweep Together”. The band combines together to create a slow-paced song that is perfect for the duet that is sung by David Steinhart and Justine Bennett. The strings included on the track give an emotional touch to the song.
On the song “We Go Down,” The Furious Seasons seem to once again slip into a retro style of music; this time, taking a musical approach that may remind some of the hit singles from 1970’s AM radio. In a style that combines elements from artists like B.W. Stevenson, Cat Stevens and even the Eagles, “We Go Down” brings back the lite rock sound of days gone by. Staying in a seventies frame of mind for another song, My Analog Face’s “A Few Miles Back” begins with a sound that seems to have been influenced by well-known composer Henry Mancini. The Mancini Influence on the track definitely dates the sound of the song, but it also helps to create one of the prettiest moments on the release.
While the album as a whole has many enjoyable listening moments, it is the song “Keys and Watch” that will resonate the most with today’s music buying public. With pop/rock music that seems to have an ultimately timeless feel to it and lyrics poetic enough to feel as if Bob Dylan had written them, “Keys and Watch” would easily fit onto any Adult Contemporary station today.
The song “Hey Jon” is another track that would fit on today’s Adult Contemporary radio as it contains the sort of timeless pop/rock as the earlier track of “Keys and Watch”. The song about seeing an old friend again has a certain familiarity to it that everyone can get behind, just like “Keys and Watch”.
To finish off the album, The Furious Seasons include on cover tune; in this case, it’s the song “Operator (That’s Not the Way it Feels)”. The Jim Croce song is given new life with this version from The Furious Seasons. The Furious Seasons take the song and make it their own, all while not straying too far from the original version.
David Steinhart and the rest of The Furious Seasons have put together a release that has a nice and relaxed feel to it. The many different styles to the band’s music on the album help it feel unique from track to track. The baroque pop mixed with the Adult Contemporary creates two different sides to the band’s style. Whether you’re a fan of today’s music or you prefer the styles that came before, My Analog Face from The Furious Seasons has something for everyone. Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
The Furious Seasons Review-Dagger Zine
THANK YOU FOR A SATURDAY- (STONEGARDEN)-It is funny that just by the name of a band you can get some preconceived notions in your head of what the band sounds like. When first hearing the name The Furious Seasons I had them pegged as an emo (or maybe hardcore band). Knowing that this is the same label that has released some records by The Black Watch should have dispelled that notion but it didn’t. I then remember reading a review and seeing a comparison to the Go Betweens, legendary (defunct) Aussie popsters and one of my favorite bands of all time. Needless to say I then immediately popped the cd in and have been enjoying the sweet sounds ever since. The band is made up of two brothers, David (vocals, guitars and drums) and Jeff Steinhart (bass) along with violinist Ray Chang and David writes all of the songs and though this band may new (it’s their 2nd record) he has been on countless other records with other bands Pop Art and Smart Brown Handbag. In addition to the wonderfully jangly guitars and busy violin a special treat here is David’s vocals, at once heartbreaking and supremely confident. A few of the sparkling gems here in clued “Swirling Around”, “The Way Forward”, “Where Are You?” and the slight country influence of “Drown You Out.” Seriously though, give this a listen and see if you can find any duds, you can’t. This one is already one my “Under the Radar” top 10 of 2009.
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