Steve ‘n’ Seagulls – Grainsville 

Monday 24th, September 2018 / 19:48
By Emilie Charette 

Spinefarm Records 

On the surface, the schtick of Finnish band Steve ‘n’ Seagulls seems simple: performing bluegrass covers of classic rock songs. However, despite a premise that sounds fairly straightforward, the band’s third album manages to surprise with influences that aren’t strictly country, such as Mariachi horns on “Digging The Grave.” Although Grainsville contains three of the band’s original songs, the standout just might be a slow cover of Kiss’ “I Was Made For Loving You.” Deep, heartfelt vocals over the gentle, minor-key strains of a mournful guitar alter the song into something evocative and almost creepy. Even the album’s cover has a nod to the eye makeup favoured by the members of Kiss. By contrast, the lightning-fast banjo licks and foot-stomping drums that open a cover of ZZ Top’s “Gimme All Your Lovin” is pure high-energy hillbilly redneck noise. Steve ‘n’ Seagulls may dress like stereotypical country rubes, but they continually find ways to subvert expectations.

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