Sunday, April 26, 2020

The Seen - Under The Sun/In the Rain (1986, Red Dog)

Our fellow instigators at Shotgun Solution re-posted the rare debut single from State College, PA's The Seen, and inspired us to digitize their lone album, Under The Sun/In the Rain.  As per the bio enclosed with my copy, this trio made their objective fairly loud and clear - to consciously not resemble anything that was part and parcel of the era they found themselves situated in.   

Under the Sun... isn't an indulgent throwback to the '60s so much as a subtle one, with a relatively modest modus operandi that often slots between the Association and The Zombies, graded on a lo-fi curve.  Sonically, the Seen nail the aesthetic they're going for to a 't' on psych-infected slices of folk rock "Why Am I Here?" "Nancy's Song" and the jangle laced "In the Rain." 

What few references that have surfaced online regarding these guys put more emphasis on their garage/mod cred, but aside from the comparatively aggressive "The Letdown" and melodically strident "Younger Than Yesterday," the tension is kept to a minimum on this disk.  Often recalling a long lost private pressing from say, 1968, Under the Sun... yields almost ceaseless quality control, so long as you're on the same page as the Seen.  Though I can't find a relevant link to share at the moment, at one point I learned the album in question received a limited digital reissue of some sort, but currently you're better offer hunting down a not-so-tricky-to find original vinyl copy.

01. Younger Than Yesterday
02. The Silence Whispers
03. Heartbeat
04. In the Rain
05. A Perfect Girl
06. Why Am I Here?
07. The Letdown
08. Nancy's Song
09. Wall
10. Four Walls
11. Black and White
12. Under the Sun


billybadbum said...

Cheers for this one!
Doug Edmunds went on to be one half of the Gladhands, then to The Stars Explode, and the Seen regrouped for a second album, Three Days In June, in 2009.

beatcomber said...

I appreciate the kind words about the album that I did with Jeff and Doug 35(!) years ago. Listening to it today, all I can hear are the flaws, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Doug E. said...

Cheers! Currently at work on my first solo album, due out in late 2020, I hope. All of The Stars Explode's catalog is available on most streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.