With the departure of vocalist/guitarist Patrick Carleton last year, Seaway were left without the dual vocals that formed a key part of their sound.
Continuing with their fourth record, ‘Big Vibe’, Seaway have delved into 80s rock and pop whilst still retaining their pop-punk backbone. Whereas the change of a member can alter the sound of a band, sometimes to their detriment, Seaway navigate the change with finesse.
Buzzing guitars usher in ‘Brain In A Jar’, complete with zipping lead lines and a solid back and forth vocal performance. As an opener, it sets the tone for the record with a streamlined and dynamically attesting journey through power pop. Whilst at this point Seaway have refined their pop-punk style, both this and the title-track that follows deliver an abundance of memorable hooks that compliment the sleek production.
Embracing the alt rock elements showcased on 2017’s ‘Vacation’, lead single ‘Mrs. David’ and ‘Still Blue’ see guitarist Andrew Eichinger inject flavours of new wave, indie, and tones of Britpop to the sing-along choruses and bouncing pop-punk that runs through both tracks.
Continuing to embrace an assortment of influences, ‘Wild Things’ almost veers towards boyband tendencies, yet with Ryan Locke‘s vocal delivery tying the various styles together, the record doesn’t seem incoherent. Proving their adaptability, ‘Pathetic’ follows on with crunching guitars, pounding drums, and angsty vocals to bring the energy back up.
As the second half of ‘Big Vibe’ plays through, Seaway display a comfort in not only the varied influences that are brought to the table, but also in their own style. With a confidence behind tracks such as ‘Sweet Sugar’, the harmonies and buoyant energy that had always been a key aspect of their sound appear more refined and pack a stronger punch.
With the one-two closer of ‘Wicked’ and ‘Sick Puppy’, Seaway deliver big guitars and big choruses to boot. With the former embracing a wall of sound and a simple yet effective vocal hook, Seaway show that, if they were inclined, the switch to alt rock would not be too far of a jump for them.
‘Big Vibe’ embraces the ambition that was shown on ‘Vacation’, and pushes Seaway further towards a larger audience. Unassuming upon first glance, ‘Big Vibe’ soon leaves a lasting impression.