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Seasaw, Son!, Lex Allen, KennyHoopla

  • HIgh Noon Saloon 701 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Madison duo Seasaw celebrates a new album that moves its sound and songwriting forward. Info/tix

  Photo by Scotify Studios.

Photo by Scotify Studios.

Madison rock duo Seasaw will have a refined sound to share at this show celebrating the release of their new record Big Dogs, the follow-up to 2016's Too Much Of A Good Thing. The title and substance of Big Dogs, members Meg Golz and Eve Wilczewski explain, originated from an incident in which a man took it upon himself to harshly accost them at a show. Across the record, Golz and Wilczewski respond to not just this "big dog" in particular, but the entire big-dog culture that creates rude barkers like him. And in doing so, Golz and Wilczewski have created their most focused, self-possessed work yet.

Gone are the moments and entire tracks like Too Much's "Gone Fishin," on which Golz and Wilczewski would dip their pens into the wells of many genres and styles. No, there aren't any funky organ solos to be found on this LP. Instead, the pair commit to a punchy rock nucleus across the record, occasionally drawing on the production quirkiness of their past. The difference this time is Golz and Wilczewski use production twists to color the margins of tracks rather than placing them front-and-center. That approach is in full effect on the album's first single, "God(zilla)." Over alternately minimal and loud guitar riffs, Golz and Wilczewski build themselves and each other up in the face of various struggles through both solo and harmonized singing. They take a similar approach on the record’s closing track, "Knockout," which starts off with restrained guitar strums and a driving drum groove before gradually stacking on more components and taking on a greater rhythmic complexity.

Golz and Wilczewski have always been gifted vocalists and share a knack for knowing when one should take the lead and when they should combine for hooks or brief moments. Here, without the bells and whistles of their last records, this vocal dynamic shines through and with it Golz and Wilczewski's confidence as songwriters. On "God(zilla)," "Knockout" and the rest of Big Dogs, listeners get to see two artists who've come into their own and present themselves fully. The result is a purer, more substantive record that offers a whole new perspective on Seasaw. —Henry Solo

Earlier Event: September 8
Café Coda Grand Re-Opening
Later Event: September 8
Naia Izumi, DJ knowsthetime (free)