It doesn't seem possible that Seaweed could be releasing the fifth album of their career, but here it is. The band was impossibly young when they debuted nearly ten years ago, and although they have had their label tribulations, both indie and major, Seaweed has managed to keep their wits about them and stay the course they set for themselves when they began.
Although Seaweed's energy level is set to stun, it thrashes sonically at just the right speed and intensity, never veering into being unnecessarily snotty or falling into the trap of volume for volume's sake. Aaron Stauffer's vocals suggest a hoarse mutation of Paul Westerberg and Perry Farrell, which is the perfect instrument for the band's punky melodicism. Past yardsticking against fellow thrashmongers Quicksand is all the more appropriate on Actions and Indications, as drummer Alan Cage takes a break from Quicksand to kick the kit for Seaweed for at least one album.
Seaweed has always offered just a shade more depth that its contemporaries with its dual guitar format, a sonic luxury that most stripped down and spare punk bands eschew in favor of the "one of everything" concept. But Seaweed shows quite effectively the power of layering chords and solos, with Wade Neal and Clint Werner tagteaming like mad through material both punked up and shoegazey. While mature is hardly the word to describe Seaweed's current state of affairs on their debut for Merge, perhaps it suffices to say that the band has a level of sophistication that eclipses not only their peers but their own previous work as well. (Brian Baker)