Seasick Circus

by CatsMelvin

Track listing: Steel Interlude 1, Seasick Circus, Casualties, Steel Interlude 2, Front Row Seat, Steel Interlude 3, In The Woods, Steel Interlude 4, Rub, Steel Interlude 5, Pharmaceuticals, Down and Out, Ripple Effect, Steel Interlude 6, Singular, Scales, Steel Interlude 7, Things You're Gonna Regret

Michael Amend is at it again sitting at the helm of his politico-rock project CatsMelvin. After a 10-year hiatus between his albums Houston and 2023's America's Beautiful Waltz (reviewed here in August 2023), he's released an 18-track album entitled Seasick Circus.

Seven of the tracks are "Steel Interlude" (numbers 1 through 7), which vary in tone and intent but range from clear-tone to predominantly distorted and highly effected steel guitar. The rest of the album is good ol' quintessential CatsMelvin that we've come to know and love.

The title track "Seasick Circus" is a wacky Dr. John sort of mysterious oompa/screamer New Orleans style number that blasts into a psychedelic dirge-y pre-chorus. Lyrically, the song sets the stage for the rest of the album, a musical commentary on society at large. "Front Row Seat" an introspective alternative indie vibe but before you settle into a singular genre you get rocked by the punkish anthem "Ripple Effect."

CatsMelvin's previous album garnered comparisons to Tom Petty, Wilco, Francis Moon, Calexico, Lucero, and Neil Young. Dancing About Architecture called CatsMelvin "R.E.M. doing an impression of early Bowie." But the musicality cannot be pigeonholed to any of these. Amend keeps his genres quite fluid, finding all sorts of new ways to communicate his messages.

As for Seasick Circus, it remains unique to CatsMelvin's style. Recorded in Boise, Idaho with Amend's own DIY recording techniques, he brings in guest musicians along with his own touring band to create a truly one-of-a-kind environment for creating music. But his message of addressing the political and social dysfunction of American Politics remains the does his grassroots approach to marketing, earning airtime on more than 50 college/non-commercial stations across North America.

Keep up with all things new and old with CatsMelvin at

Posted on 11/21/23