Album Review – The Golden Book of Favorite Songs – Seth Martin & The Dish Boys – 2021
Updated: Feb 22
So, when an email landed in my inbox from Lindsey Baker of WolfieVibes Publicity, with the title Psychospiritual Southern Rock, I was a wee bit curious.
The artists Seth Martin & The Dish Boys, based in Athens, GA, USA, have toured relentlessly over the last five years before Covid put a stop to it. Still, in that time they have also produced six studio albums; now, while the plague ravishes the planet, they have picked thirty different tracks from across those releases and placed them all in one place for your enjoyment.
If like me you are hearing them for the first time, this is a handy way to discover them in all their glory. If you are already a fan, it's a good album to have at hand. So I'm guessing you may have two questions; one, why is a folk blog covering them and two, is it any good?
Well to kinda answer question one! Rock has it's roots firmly in Folk and the different Folk sub-genres do bring a lot of style together under one roof. The Golden Book of Favorite Songs reminds me of two bands right off the bat; the first is the amazingly gifted My Dying Bride (right out of Yorkshire, England) whose album 'Like Gods of the Sun' is firmly placed in my all time favourite (ed. English snobbery there but we do love our U's) top ten albums.
It was the birth of Doom Metal in the mainstream, mixing the genres of Classical, Heavy Metal and Folk together in an glorious riot of psychospiritual goodness. Yes, I know Black Sabbath (I really can't stand them) did it first but My Dying Bride brought it to people who may not be 'into' that kind of sound.
Secondly, I am reminded of the equally world dominating band War on Drugs, and the raw hard edge of their Folk Rock sound, especially the album 'Lost in a Dream'. The album felt so personal and 'real', I haven't met a person that doesn't feel an instant connection to it, even if the sound isn't to their liking.
So, back to Seth Martin & The Dish Boys; you can probably guess by the comparisons I'm now firmly a fan. Just to address the above before I continue, their music isn't a pale imitation of those bands, far from it.
On top of the style of genre mentioned, we also have some Spanish/Mexican influence working into their work, with some American Roots and even some Irish poking it's head up now and then. This collision of sound isn't a discordance but a consensus of the genres and sub-genres.
It's a harmony of passion, expression and understanding for these styles, all seeded and grown over the years they have spent together, into a thing of beauty. The more hardcore Doom Metal vocal style, or shouty, shouty style as my ex Willow would say, in the earlier tracks of 'Mr. Chapman' or 'Waking in the Morning', are not your run of the mill wannabe metalhead band; they are in tune for a start. Seth Martin's vocals are passionate and true, driving the early songs forward.
Move forward a few tracks and you get songs such as 'Heartworn Highways' or 'Snapshot', these are standout tracks for me and some of the best I've heard, easily on par with War on Drugs and their album Lost in a Dream.
This isn't a greatest hits album, this is an origins album, the start and growth of a talented and pioneering group of artists. Over the course of the album a new sound is forged and dominates the Folk sub-genre it happily sits in.
By the time I was listening to the last dying notes of 'Looking Back', I had hit the repeat icon and listened to the journey all over again. The purpose of The Golden Book of Favorite Songs, for me at least, is not a cash-in or a fan service; it's a living breathing documentary about the birth of Seth Martin & The Dish Boys, which leaves me with one small problem, I now want to hear the next chapter.
The Golden Book of Favorite Songs is released on the 26th February 2021 and you can pre-order it now on Seth Martin & The Dish Boys Bandcamp page. This link and others are below for your perusal.
You can keep up to date with my ramblings and more Folk stuff on my blog Here.
A huge Tapadh Leat to Lindsey Baker from WolfieVibes Publicity for the advanced copy.
Stay Safe - Stay Well - Peace & Love.
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