Jodie Seabody and the Whirls, a group originating in Katy, Texas, has recently extended their play entitled Orange. With a classic spirit of individual achievement, they are releasing Orange through their own record label. Jodie Seabody personifies this ethic in their music, which is nonetheless exciting. Having acquainted myself with the band through many gigs in Downtown Houston, I am pleased to present my review for the Orange EP.
I first noticed the quartet at Houston’s Westheimer Block Party around March of this year. The Block Party provided the band with needed exposure. In addition to this, the festival showcased other independent acts from Downtown. It was a melting pot of sound with diverse bands like, Indian Jewelry, or Devin the Dude sharing the stage. Jodie Seabody’s performance is what stuck out in my mind. After watching the Whirls play for this first time, I knew they were on to something fresh.
Musically, this band has found a perfect balance between indie rock and pop sensibilities, which leaves everyone pleased with the results. The base of the songwriting is rooted in the traditions established by Dinosaur Jr. and Black Sabbath. This means that they combine heavy riffing in anthems that one can sing along with. Conversely, their influences are as eclectic as their sound. They enjoy listening to everything from Mozart to Fugazi, Fleetwood Mac, or even Michael Jackson. For the Whirls are not concerned with confining themselves in a certain genre; they are concerned with entertainment at it’s finest.
The Orange EP exposes the inviting nature of this band. Standout tracks include “Lights On,” “Girl You Have Got Nothing,” and “Orange.” The lyrical content ranges from personal isolation and girl trouble to battling drug addictions. However, the serious nature of these songs is balanced by a humorous one. The final track, “Jenn and Erik,” contains an amusing conversation between the band and the recording engineer Blake Carpenter. This provides an appropriate ending for the album; making the listeners feel like they are in the studio.
Another positive feature is the cover art. The cover is a painting of a girl with orange hair and no eyes by Chelsea Paquette, which I believe the theme of this cover is to show the blindness and naivety of our times.
The dynamics of Jodie Seabody are just as interesting as the EP. While most bands have a principal lead singer in a guitarist, the drummer John McCarthy shares vocal duties with rhythm guitarist Bryce Perkins. Bassist Matt Johnston isn’t a run of the mill musician either. He plays “lead bass” rather than following the guitar note for note. Finally, the newest member of the band, lead guitarist Clint Rater, aids the melodies with well-placed guitar solos.
“Basically, we’re a collective and the idea of meeting people at shows and interacting with the crowd is appealing to all of us. That aspect is what makes us want to play music for a living,” Bryce said in describing the essence of the band.
To watch a performance or contact Jody Seabody and the Whirls, please visit their website at http://www.myspace.com/jodyseabodyandthewhirls