LP Review; Seaway: “Big Vibe”

The Album:

All right, when it comes to Seaway, people were excited for some new tunes, especially after coming off that teaser, kind of cover but not really, album that we got in 2019. Moving into 2020, hearing that the band had a new record in the works, started to brew that vibe that people were just itching for.  So let’s dive in to see if all of the wait was worth it. From the jump, we hear that solid Seaway foundation that we know and love: the aggressive or punk-esk instrumental approach to music. This gave the band the opportunity to continue to appease their fan base that they’ve had, which gave them the familiarity of good tunes that they’ve been making album after album. With “Vacation”, their previous release, they started to shift their sound by adding new instruments such as synth, but that pop punk sound stayed. This album is no different: However, just like their previous release, this one happened with a twist.  What is that twist you may ask? Well, let’s get into it. In this release, the band begins to utilize more modern approaches to music. These tactics may be heard more often in the alternative or the alternative pop genres of music vs pop punk or edgier types.. That means, the band is utilizing more electronics as they are shifting their overall sound to create something where the balance is shifted from the pop-punk articulation in front to it now moving towards the back. Meaning, as one listens to the album, it is heard that the band is creating bangers and bops that you will remember as you go back through the album or as you make your way through the day. We aren’t hearing just run-of-the-mill good songs.  What this means is the band is broadening their sound- in short. This gives them the opportunity to do more as musicians and put more ideas and musical nuances into practice, but it also makes their sound span more of a spectrum and makes for a more diverse audience. As one listens to this album, I think it is easily said, that many people outside of the pop punk genre would be interested in the music on the make because it doesn’t feel like it’s rooted in any particular place. Some people might insult this technique because once somebody’s in the pop punk genre people prefer that they stay in it to appease the fanbase; however, I believe that Seaway includes enough of those checkmark boxes that fit the pop-punk mold to keep the audience engaged while also being able to bend and twist their sound to create something that will make them feel nostalgic but also innovative. Overall, I am giving this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I landed on this score primarily due to diversity and approach. The diversity, as I’ve mentioned many times before, on this record is astounding. If a pop-punk rooted band can appeal to more than just pop punk audiences, while keeping that main sound that people know and love that makes for an intelligent release that is also quite musical. I believe that everybody should check out this fantastic album, and I believe it will stand strong even after 2020 ends and new releases surface. 

Top Tracks:

“Still Blue”, “Wild Things”, and “Mrs. David”

Now, all the songs on the make for this record are absolutely sensational; however, there are a few songs that stuck out amongst the pack, and these are those tracks. These selections stuck out, for they rock with the same intention and foundation that Seaway has utilized in all of their previous releases- a true and bold pop punk approach. However, in this release, we heard a solid shift in overall soundscape with this push to create more bops or bangers as one would say. Therefore, when deciding which tracks deserve the highlight, I thought it was best to go with the ones that drive this new approach to sound the most, and they just happen to be the works that stick in your ear. Trust me, you’ll be humming them all day. 

The Artwork:

When looking at the album cover at first glance, I would say the general overview is that it’s a modern take on an older piece of art. The image depicts two people standing back-to-back while also overlapping.  They are holographic in the fact that it is black with coverings of blue. With that in mind, let’s take a look to see how this connects to the music that falls on the inside. When one listens to the album, as mentioned in the general review, it’s a very modern sound with an old twist, and I think that’s exactly what the album artwork depicts- aesthetically speaking. However, I don’t just want to stop there – I want to take it a step further. The lyrical content on the record talks about a lot of emotions as one normally does when they write a pop punk record. With that in mind, though, it is no surprise that the album artwork includes this two-intertwined human beings or human-like beings. On the record, we constantly hear this dichotomous back-and-forth quarreling between different emotions which could relate to oneself or another person. Thus, when looking at the artwork, not knowing who those people are,  I think it can be easily said that that connection and that overlapping between the two without much identification can relate in many different facets to the lyrics that we’re hearing. This is  because that can relate to more than just you with somebody else; rather, it can also connect to maybe yourself within both sides of yourself. The album rocks on contrast and balance, and I think that’s exactly what the artwork depicts. Yes, the overall look of it is very hippie meets modern, which fits the overall sound, but I think having that two-fold connection with the actual image really brings this album to fruition. In general, I would say that both are strong on their own- maybe the music more so than the artwork, but the two work beautifully together when you make those connections. 

*”Big Vibe” was released on October 16th, 2020 through Pure Noise Records

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