Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Seeds

  • Pushin' Too Hard: Original Soundtrack [GNP Crescendo/Big Beat, 2019] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Pushin' Too Hard: Original Soundtrack [GNP Crescendo/Big Beat, 2019]
Beyond Roky Erickson's 13th Floor Elevators, L.A.'s Seeds were the only album-worthy band singled out on Lenny Kaye's 1971 Nuggets comp. Having pried their eponymous 1966 debut out of my vinyl shelves and played it for the first time in decades, I'd call it a strong B plus, and five of its 12 songs are on this documentary soundtrack, including their two best: the frustrated "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" and the Top 40 "Pushin' Too Hard," directed at a woman but taken to target society as a whole--just like the Stones' "Satisfaction," if you're old enough to recall. Although keyboardist Daryl Hooper was charged with translating Sky Saxon's brainstorms into garage-rock songfulness, the Utah-born yob christened Richard Marsh in 1937 was headman and shaman. But highlights here also include a KHJ DJ's 1967 disquisition on "flower music" at the Hollywood Bowl, a 14-minute extension of "Evil Hoodoo," and backup work for both Muddy Waters and Kim Fowley. Saxon later became the star attraction of a vegetarian Hollywood Hills commune called the Source Family. He died in 2009, leaving the band to Hooper. After putting in his time as an LA cop, '60s guitarist Jan Savage joined back on. A-