“Now We Wake Up”
September 10, 2013 - Self-released
No, it’s not even close to being as good as Against Me!'s best work, but there’s definitely something very likeable about Human Parts, the debut album and new band from former AM! bass player Andrew Seward. In the context of a musician who’s been on the road for the better part of the last decade, and is now focusing on family and friends (even including them in his band), this album is occasionally fun but endearingly odd. Some of the songs sound like they were written with Seward’s daughter in mind (“Best Foot Forward,” “Hi, Nice To Meet You”). Others feel like tossed-off joke tracks that could never see the light in his previous band (“Call ’Em Off,” “First Impressions”). And then some others are rollicking punk songs that would, in fact, fit in with the Against Me! catalog (“Now We Wake Up,” “Best Foot Forward”).
Yes, there’s a lot here, and it goes in pretty much every direction imaginable. Sometimes it’s a hot mess, and sometimes it’s confusing (why Seward would pick the ultra-annoying “The Rumble” as the lead track is one of many head-shakers), but it’s Seward’s hot mess and it’s Seward’s confusion, and you’ve got to admire his dedication to doing exactly what he wants. It’s an unfiltered musical vision from a guy who treats songwriting with the workmanlike methodology of laying down a roof or fixing a leaky pipe. Would we ever want to listen to this album all the way through again? Well, probably not. But certain songs? Well, sure.