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Unconventional Rock: Jeff Aug, Seabrook Power Plant

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JEFF AUG: Living Room Sessions (CD on Net Music Zone)

This CD from 2009 offers 46 minutes of soft rock music.

Solo guitar. Thatís all there is here. And most of it is acoustic guitar material. But prepare to be dazzled by Augís lightning-fast fingers as he plucks out alluring melodies of bewitching complexity.

Augís fingers fly with nimble expertise over the strings, delineating enticing tuneage that displays surprising depth for the sparseness of the material. Without the use of overdubbing, he manages to produce a lush sound that flourishes with each passing moment. The songs tickle the brain with their undulant resonance, conveying delightful invigoration at the same time as generating an aura of mesmerizing appeal.

The strings are periodically embellished by percussive slaps on the guitar body, a subtle touch that nicely boosts these pieces.

One track does feature actual drums. The rhythms lend a snappy locomotion to the tune which is stimulated by handclaps. Here, the guitar adopts a hoedown flair.

The tracks are generally short, allowing Aug to compress the melodies into pressurized doses of sonic ambrosia. This compact nature hones the musicís charisma into tantalizing gems that sparkle with startling attraction.

These compositions possess a bouncy vitality that is captivating. The mood of these pieces is moderate and dreamy, evoking pleasant meadows under twinkling starlight. And when the pace steps up, the material shines with a jubilant luster.

A pair of videos are included on the disc.

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SEABROOK POWER PLANT: Seabrook Power Plant (CD on Loyal Label)

This CD from 2009 offers 39 minutes of power rock.

Seabrook Power Plant is: Brandon Seabrook (on guitar and banjo), Tom Blancarte (on bass), and Jared Seabrook (on drums).

Expect powerhouse dynamics comprised of insistent drums, growling bass and dazzling banjo. Thatís right--banjo. Oh, thereís some guitar present, but the spotlight is deservedly on the banjo.

One might never think of banjo as a prominent rock instrument, but this release is guaranteed to change that assumption forever. Brandon Seabrook manipulates the banjo in ways that will make your head spin. The fingering is frenzied to hyperactive scope and monstrously complex. The melodies are hypnotic and glorious. Thereís no hillbilly undercurrent present, just pure devout rockout sensibilities.

While the guitar is utilized on its own at times, glistening with searing potency, it often functions as a background element supporting the blinding banjo brilliance.

The bass rumbles with molten vigor, smoldering deep within the busy mix.

The drums provide ample propulsion with urgent rhythms that are often exhausting.

A bow is frequently applied to the strings, resulting in violinesque embellishment to the cadence. This surprise aspect adds a chaotic classical air struggling amid the robust milieu.

These compositions inject a progressive temperament to basic punk attitudes, generating tunes that elevate raw power to an intellectual level. Yet a rollicking sense of fun is retained, expressing melodies that are compelling and invigorating.

The novelty appeal of this music is quickly supplanted by its gutsy vitality. The tunes explode with bombastic energy, easily charming you in with their vibrant charm.

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