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Seid - Magic Handshake CD (album) cover



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PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
3 stars This is a long awaited rebirth I would say. SEID - the Cosmic Pirate Rockers, located in Trondheim/Norway, are back after six years of absence ... at least when it comes to new studio output. A magic handshake for their fans. So here we have just about 60 minutes of fresh explorations - released on Black Widow Records this time, manufactured for compact disc as well as double vinyl. First of all to notice ... except new drummer Viktor Martin the line up has remained in force basically. They don't build up extended song constructions, boundless jam attitude is not their thing. Therefore you won't find any track crossing the ten minute line - but on the other hand one can follow them sailing the cosmos in compliance with safety procedures - which means variety is the name of the game on this occasion.

Thus some tracks bear unexpected turns and they are covering the complete space rock spectrum here featuring diverse guitar style variations. In place of the heavier parts the album starts reminiscent of Hawkwind, compact, provided with straightforward garage rock appeal. The following Decode The Glow is more kinda groovy and mellow though. Diverse keyboard stuff comes to the fore time after time. Let me point out the restless Trn where one can detect the melancholic mellotron, preferably used by nordic bands. And later typical synths also provide some Ozric Tentacles feeling. Moreover I want to remark the lively drumming - Viktor Martin perfectly fits.

The powerful Fire It Up! stands for the band's dynamic as no other, lyk Kok Friebib by way of change showcases a long weird outro dominated by somewhat quirky/spooky synths. Later they are keen on praying the Space Rock Dogma including a nicely floating electric piano and mellotron duet. SEID save a really magnifique song until last - I mean the title track. The arrangement reflects the album's essence. It starts with powerful straight rock featuring sing along qualitities - will move the crowd during their gigs for sure - and then turns to a groovier behaviour which even shows some improv appeal. Something for everyone who's familiar with the space rock genre. Supported by a bunch of friends on vocals and wind instruments SEID offer an interesting new album in 2012 - 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#760644)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Magic Handshake' - Seid (8/10)

The vital spirit of Hawkwind is alive in these Norwegian space pirates. After losing their way for a few years, Seid have returned from the cosmic void. Picking up where they left off, the band presents a strong blend of hard rock and psychedelia, livened up by a few jazzy surprises that have made "Magic Handshake" an album I can warmly recommend and will be returning to in the future.

Seid have a strong sense of character rooted within the space rock tradition, and Hawkwind is the first band that comes to mind when hearing "Magic Handshake". Although much of the album pursues a mellowed style, the opener "Space Pirates Return" explodes with vintage hard rock guitars and sci-fi sound effects not unlike those that might be found in a campy 1950's film. It is very appropriately titled, considering that this is the first we have heard of the band in several years, and the instant energy demonstrates that they aren't going to wait around any longer. Seid balances vintage charm with forward-thinking ambition smoothly; a single look at the expansive cast of musicians is a hint towards the variety of sounds and moods explored here on "Magic Handshake". Stina Stjern (an accomplished singer-songwriter with some great solo material of her own) offers her vocal charm on "Decode The Glow", which takes a more melodic approach to the band's music. Later on, saxophones become evident, and this is where Seid begins to creep out from the space rock formula, and into something of their own. Although the saxes are never given the opportunity to shine through the dense cosmic rays, they add a keen texture that helps to set Seid apart from the faceless psych acts.

The production is well-chosen for their choice of style. It is organic and not entirely clear. At times, "Magic Handshake" can feel a little chaotic, but it lends a more challenging experience to the music than the space rock I'm normally exposed to. Seid impresses most in their ability to fuse the 'classic' sound of prog rock with a modern sound. Like Dark Suns' "Orange" or Opeth's "Heritage" record from last year, there's never a question where this band's influences lie, but "Magic Handshake" does sound like a modern heavy psych record. The instrumentation is lively and diverse, and the guitars enjoy some of the richest guitar tones I've heard in a while. There's no question about it; Seid are back, and they're a band to look out for.

Report this review (#773017)
Posted Sunday, June 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Magic Handshake is the third album released by this (self-proclaimed) "Space Pirate Rock" band from Trondheim, Norway, and is a long awaited album for the fans as it came after a six year absence. From the first track, I was immediately struck by the feeling that I had been swirled back through time through an Austin Powers-esque swirly time machine into the '60s/'70s ? not only does this band have a musical style that harkens back to the psychedelic styling of Piper At the Gates of Dawn (many other late '60s and '70s era prog acts come to mind as well), but the production style chosen, being a bit organic sounding, compliments this sound very well. The keyboards are really the standout piece of this group, I felt, adding a trippy, spacey, at time spooky style that gives the music a rich atmospheric layer that will launch the listener into the stratosphere. This atmosphere is added to by the hard rock styled guitars, sci-fi sound effects, and trippy saxophones. The band shows great energy and talent, and explores this sound by melding in jazz/fusion undertones, as well as bringing in many guests on vocals and wind instruments. They also show skilled compositional skills with subtle rhythm changes and compound time signatures, whilst never overwhelming the listener with technicality. All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable listen.

3.5 stars

Originally written for

Report this review (#786637)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars The influence here is obvious to everyone, it's Hawkwind. But it's not a copy and paste kinda of album, which is very common on Prog Rock in our days, this norwegian band have personality.

Space Rock in general bother me a bit, usually the bands just play some nonsense sound that goes nowhere, lot of jams and some ethereal vocals and thats it. That's a space rock album usually. Not here. The song structure matter more.

Vocal melodies are a important deal on Magic Handshake, third album from the band, released by the italian label Black Widow Records in CD and Vinyl.

I confess that I laughed a bit with the beginning of 'Space Pirates Return', but just because that's something you don't listen everyday in a song, after the first 'shock' I surrender myself to their sound.

Like in the delicious 'The True Merry Poppers' and the fuzz heavy overall sound, lots of vocals and an almost pop melody during verses and a crazy bit with synths at the final bit. The band have a very good hand when it comes to write fast passages in a Hard Rock way with good melodies and lots of space synths.

'Trôn' is very much indian music oriented in the intro, but again, it's influence, not just copied sounds and copied formulas. Soon the band enters in a more traditional Prog Rock sound, and more and more the tracks comes alive and well with a lot of vintage keyboards.

'Birds' is a song that I could hear a full brass arrangement on my head to it. They used it, but just in a 'shy' way. It could be even more interesting than already is.

Great guitars, great keyboards, a very good bass tone, a real drum sound (the thing that most annoys me in the present musical productions) and lots of vocals. This album was a surprise for me, but a good one, I wasn't expecting anything good coming from a mix of a norwegian band (country that has no tradition in Space Rock as far as I know) and a dark gothic label. Good for me I was wrong. This is a very good surprise for 2012.

Report this review (#804908)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Norwegian band SEID has been a going concern in one constellation or other since the 90's, although they didn't make their actual album debut until 2002. These days they are quickly approaching a 20 year long history as a band, and following a six year long break as recording artists they have reappeared with their third album "Magic Handshake", released by the Italian label Black Widow Records.

Although Hawkwind-style space rock is the strongest association one will get on initial inspections of Seid's third album "Magic Handshake", the diversity of this production is one that should make this disc an interesting case to inspect for a much broader audience than that. Psychedelic progressive rock with a space rock orientation is at the core of the proceedings however, so if you have a taste for music of that kind inspecting this disc should be a no-brainer. And if you enjoy innovative bands with a versatile approach to their chosen stylistic orientation, Seid is an act you should have a go at as well.

Report this review (#828158)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | Review Permalink

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