1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Gasoline – Saron Gas/Seether

Fragile - Saron Gas

Fragile – Saron Gas

Way back in the day (we’re talking 2001/2002), a band called Saron Gas came roaring out of Pretoria into the South African music psyche. Hard rocking and with an angry sound they blew away all other hard rock competition and came to the attention of Wind-Up records in the US. They changed their name to Seether (as sarin gas is a toxic nerve gas which had been used in a deadly terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995). Under their new name they have had a US top 20 hit with ‘Broken’ which reached number 20, and a number 2 album there in the form of ‘Holding On To Strings Better Left To Fray’.

One of the songs that bridges the Gap between Saron Gas and Seether is ‘Gasoline’ as the band recorded it under both names. It is a song that thunders from the first dirty guitar chords, through the growling vocals of Shaun Morgan and continue till the screaming guitars and backing vocals close the track. It is Nirvana-esque in its grungy-ness and Metallica-ish in its dense wall of rock. It’s home-grown hard rock at its finest.

The Saron Gas version spent 2 weeks at the top of the SA Rock Digest charts, but there is little to choose between the two versions. The Seether one is that little bit denser and fuller in sound. It has more polish on it, but the slightly more raw sound of the Saron Gas version is more in tune with the pain expressed in the lyrics (‘She’s got no one to hate/except me’). Both come at you like a 4 o’clock highveld thunderstorm and bliksems you into submission.

I know in South Africa we normally refer to it as petrol, but this gasoline is drenched in American rock sensibilities and got the recognition it deserved. So pull up to the pumps and get your fill of ‘Gasoline’, rev the engine to a roar and Seethe(r) on down the highway.

Where to find it:
Saron Gas version: Various Artists – 5fm Playlisted (2002), Sony Music, CDDGSO 003 W
Seether version: Disclaimer – Seether (2002), Wind-Up, CDMUS (CF) 303

Videos:
Saron Gas version:

Seether version:

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