January 18, 2023 Seether – Disclaimer (20th Anniversary Vinyl Review)
The year 2002 was a very odd one. The world was less than a year removed from the terroristic attacks of September 11, 2001, and truthfully, nothing felt the same. In the ashes, paranoia was in bloom, the dawn of surveillance became widely accepted in society, and the Hard Rock landscape was changing rapidly. In truth, in the years prior to 2002 there were a few newer Hard Rock acts that piqued much interest. Sure, you had acts like Linkin Park, System of a Down, and Disturbed, but they were all niche to a certain style. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a band with a grungier sound popped up by the name of Seether.
Out of South Africa, Seether, initially known as Saron Gas prior to signing with American label Wind-Up Records, had something going on. Unique to the Nu Metal sound that dominated the times, Seether’s approach was stripped down and raw. There was no rapping, no turntables, or no over the top screaming… it was just a core of drums, guitar, bass, and unfiltered vocals. Additionally, the band stood out with a much more sincere melancholy sound different from the angst of their contemporaries. What did this mean? It meant Seether’s songs were more singer-songwriter based, full of self-reflection without being overly venomous. In short, they were the type of songs that you could imagine the creators sitting on the edge of their bed, messing around with an acoustic guitar, and figuring things out. Extremely relatable to a listener looking for something real and from the heart, it comes as no surprise that the band’s debut album Disclaimer was pretty successful.
Initially released in August of 2002, the album also stood out because it featured 10 different covers. A factor that some would find odd and excessive, instead it was striking because each cover made a very blunt statement with a person holding a sign stating such things as I hate myself… I hate you, or I have shallow unrealistic dreams, or someone controls what you watch. Get the picture yet? These very honest statements immediately struck a chord with the truly disenfranchised individual who was not just looking to stick out, but find something real to grab on to. Needless to say, the album had three successful singles (“Gasoline,” “Fine Again,” and “Driven Under”) and launched Seether into a career which has made them one of the most successful modern Hard Rock acts.
Helping celebrate the milestone of gold-selling Disclaimer, Craft Recordings has reissued it as an expanded vinyl set for release on January 20, 2023. A limited-edition collection, there is a lot to undercover that Seether fans might enjoy. First off, you get the original Disclaimer artwork which is rather absurd, and even Seether themselves admit they have always disliked it. Secondly, the three LP set includes the entire original album, tracks 1-12, on Side A-B. This in itself is great to have because the vinyl pressing is high quality and sounds rich.
Then your bonus feature comes into play with Side D-F (2 LPS) offering you the previously unreleased complete live show from 2003. A great flash from the past, the live performance offers you a solid performance from the band that includes a really fitting cover of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way.” Furthermore, you also get new liner notes written by Journalist Katherine Turman who offers some really nice insight into Seether.
In all, the collection is very well put together and worthy of a Seether fan’s collection. If you do not own a record player, there is also a 2-CD set, which is a respectable way to go, or digital edition, which would be a modern/convenience approach. Honestly, consideration should be put into investing in the LP collection or at least the CD set, because consumers really need to reconnect themselves with music again as we sink further into the abyss of empty, virtual reality. All things considered; Cryptic Rock gives the Disclaimer 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Vinyl Set 5 out of 5 stars.