Title: Pushin' Too Hard
Artist: The Seeds
Album: The Seeds
In a year that saw the release of Revolver, Blonde on Blonde, Pet Sounds and not one, but two, Simon and Garfunkel albums, how does one make room for the little guys? Well, I'm certainly going to try and I'll start tonight with a song that was a modest hit in the USA for the little-known garage rock band known as The Seeds.
The Seeds seem exactly like the type of band you'd hear Ed Ward reviewing in a newly remastered Rhino Records release on Fresh Air. You hear "Pushin' Too Hard" and just know it must be an important song in the development of psychedelic rock (in the short term) and punk (in the long term). The song uses repetition (two relentless chords) and randomness (sloppy improvised guitar and keyboard licks) to evoke a feeling of hypnosis. Although it clocks in at just a little over two-and-a-half minutes, one could easily imagine this going on for much longer had it been released two or three years later. Sky Saxon's insistent raspy vocal gives the impression he could blow at any minute and the backing vocals work by being limited to two parts with a hollow center.
Almost fifty years after its release, this is still an exciting tune. One can only wonder whether The Seeds could have found greater success in a field with fewer music industry giants.