Matt Rice is back with a really big concept
Matt Rice has been around. The Chattanooga native first made a name for himself with the bands Tides of Fury and Johnny Dropout. Johnny Dropout was a particular success, making the rounds of Chattanooga’s most popular music venues and enjoying a high degree of love and support, until 2012 when Rice moved to Murfreesboro to attend MTSU and Johnny Dropout went on (permanent) hiatus.
Ever the prolific songwriter, Rice kept pen to paper, scribbling lyrics away and turning over ideas for a new band, a concept band whose music would create an ongoing story arc from album to album. The seed for Seizer was planted.
It would be two years before Rice assembled the right group of musicians to breathe life in to his rock-and-roll creation. At MTSU, Rice met fellow Chattanoogan Cameron Crump, a drummer extraordinaire who shared Matt’s vision for Seizer. Josh Reynolds soon joined the group on guitar and the proto-Seizer was born. Conflicting schedules meant that Reynolds had to bow out, leaving Hayden Gist to take over duties on the six-string this month.
Formed in August of 2014, Seizer released their first single (“Breaking Another Girl’s Heart”) the following month. Six months later, on Feb. 8 of this year, Seizer released their debut EP, Past Regrets and Haven’t Yets. If the five-song collection is a sign of things to come, expect to be hearing quite a bit more from Seizer in the near future. The tunes are largely bright, poppy and just punk enough to get your blood moving; well-written lyrics complete the package.
As the band’s sole songwriter, Rice cites as his influences Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, the Beatles and Angels & Airwaves, to name a few. One can hear these influences quite clearly in Seizer’s music and it’s a winning combination of ingredients. Eschewing the trope of the “concept album,” Rice and company have instead decided to pursue the notion of a “concept band.” The point here is that every album will be part of a greater whole with a regular cast of characters and chronology, though not necessarily a linear chronology.
The concept doesn’t end there, however, as Rice plans on a whole “Seizer Universe,” encompassing books, comics, film, television and virtually any and all media that might be used to represent the Seizer character and friends. It is an ambitious project, no doubt, but the band’s ability in creating the convincing pop/punk fusion that gives legs to Rice’s words suggests that the boys have what it takes to make it happen.
For now, the EP can be sampled (and purchased) at the band’s bandcamp page, seizermusic.bandcamp.com (iTunes to follow shortly), but perhaps the best way to get a feel for this up-and-coming artistic explosion is to see them live. The band will be appearing next at JJ’s Bohemia on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Will the band succeed in their “king of all media” approach? It remains to be seen—but given the talent and tools they have at their disposal, I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.