Disclaimer (Deluxe Edition)"

rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Gasoline
02. 69 Tea
03. Fine Again
04. Needles
05. Driven Under
06. Pride
07. Sympathetic
08. Your Bore
09. Fade Away
10. Pig
11. F**k It
12. Broken
13. Something In The Way (Live In The 99X Music Lounge, Atlanta, GA/Dec 13, 2002)

01. Gasoline (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
02. 69 Tea (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
03. Needles (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
04. Pride (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
05. Driven Under (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
06. Your Bore (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
07. Pig (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
08. Sympathetic (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
09. Fine Again (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
10. Hang On (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
11. Burrito (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
12. F**k It (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)
13. Broken (Live At Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton, NH / April 18, 2003)

Regardless of your personal like or dislike for post-grunge, there's no ignoring that the musical movement was one of the most influential in the mid-to-late-90s and early-2000s. It spawned bands that still top the active rock chart today. While groups such as CANDLEBOX and BUSH may have been the first to emulate the sounds of grunge, the wave of post-grunge bands in the early-2000s was even bigger. Groups such as STAIND, SHINEDOWN and SEETHER quickly became the biggest sensations of that decade in rock.

Post-grunge music's appeal is inherent in the genre's raw vocals, defiant attitudes and messy, distorted guitars. It was grunge 2.0. Many vocalists were wearing their Kurt Cobain influences proudly on their sleeves with a similar vocal delivery, coupled with a more polished, radio-friendly production style than classic NIRVANA.

A handful of albums exist that truly define the post-grunge movement. SEETHER's "Disclaimer" is one of them. Now, the South African rock band is passing that album's 20-year release milestone. "Disclaimer" arrived on August 20, 2002, during an interesting era in rock. Post-grunge was already going strong, but by the early 2000s, it was also melding with the rap-rock of nu-metal (LIMP BIZKIT, LINKIN PARK),  garage rock (THE WHITE STRIPES),  post-punk revival (THE STROKES, SUM 41) and even alternative pop (AVRIL LAVIGNE).

So, where did post-grunge fit into the musical landscape? It actually towered over it. Albums such as SEETHER'S "Disclaimer" and the following year's debuts from SHINEDOWN with "Leave a Whisper" and THREE DAY'S GRACE's self-titled album skyrocketed to the top of the rock charts. Singles off the aforementioned albums claimed the top of active rock radio. It was obvious that the commercial public was hungry for post-grunge.

"Disclaimer" not only marked the debut album from SEETHER, it also firmly cemented the band as one of the biggest breakout acts of the early-2000s. The Gold-certified album spawned three chart-topping singles, which are still golds on rock radio today: "Fine Again", "Gasoline" and "Driven Under". "Disclaimer" also featured the original version of "Broken", an acoustic ballad that eventually became a duet between SEETHER frontman Shaun Morgan and EVANESCENCE frontwoman Amy Lee, who were dating at the time, and released on the 2004 version of the album, "Disclaimer II".

Now, SEETHER is honoring two decades of "Disclaimer" with a special, 20th anniversary deluxe edition out on Craft Recordings on vinyl, CD and digital. Anniversary editions of major albums are nothing new, but SEETHER switches things up by including the original 12-track album along with a previously unreleased live show, filmed in its entirety at New Hampshire's Hampton Beach Casino in 2003. The extra bonus content on "Disclaimer (Deluxe Edition)" also includes a 2002 live acoustic cover of NIRVANA's "Something in the Way".

Listening, most importantly, the sound quality of the live cuts is top-notch. Performances of "Driven Under", "69 Tea", "Gasoline" and "Hang On" offer an apt blend of heavy instrumentals and crowd noise, but never bury Morgan's vocals, which is often a problem with live recordings. Some hidden gems are "Burrito" and "Pig", songs that were never SEETHER singles or hits but really show off Morgan's Cobain influence with grungy vocals and a laid-back, sludgy delivery.

A real highlight from the live performance cuts is "Broken". The Hampton Beach performance offers the pristine blend of Morgan's vulnerable vocals, delicate acoustic backings and ramblings of crowd cheering and reaction.

The 20th anniversary of "Disclaimer" captures a moment. SEETHER had just released their debut album, and it was blowing up: The excitement was palpable. They were touring the world, and crowds were singing back all the words to their songs. It wasn't an overnight success, but it was close. This reissue hits deep for anyone who grew up in the post-grunge era of music, and the live cuts are what make it extra special. "Disclaimer" is a reminder of why SEETHER were never a one hit-wonder, instead setting up the band for Platinum-certified albums in 2005's "Karma and Effect" and 2007's "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces" to follow.

Author: Anne Erickson
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