To bring something a bit different to the pop-punk genre is a pretty difficult task given the sheer number of bands that are flooding the airwaves lately. But Californians Seahaven are managing it with their first full-length album, ‘Winter Forever’. With a mix of pop-punk rhythms and blues-tinged vocals, this band have created something that actually stands out as different and they’ve done it well, creating an album to be proud of.
When I first listened to this album and opener ‘Goodnight’ started up with a pop-punk rhythm, being a pretty big fan of the genre I had an idea of what was coming. In come the vocals of Kyle Soto to catch me way off guard with a bluesy voice that you would expect to hear in todays indie scene. However, this rather unconventional mix does work really well and it makes a nice change to hear something new. The band also show their versatility, with heavier tracks such as ‘Thank You’ in there to shake things up a bit.
Soto‘s delivery of the songs is notable throughout the album, especially during ‘Black & White’ when he puts an emotional delivery into the chorus, singing “You seem to have forgotten the promise you promised / Forgive do not forget about me”. That said, the nature of this delivery works well to make the band stand out, but as with all bands that do there will be people who will be driven insane by the fact that sometimes it just sounds as though he is not forming his words properly and slurring out lyrics, which happens throughout the stripped down acoustic track ‘Honey Bee’.
The vocals also face trouble on ‘It’s Over’, where the harmonising during the chorus – despite being quiet – doesn’t work at all, and somehow almost overpowers the main vocals by throwing off the rhythm. However, this is fixed across the album, as ‘The End Of The World’ clearly demonstrates.
Overall, ‘Winter Forever’ is a good record with the pop-punk roots being demonstrated particularly well by closer ‘PV’ and ‘Understanding’. Whilst it’s an impressive debut, the odd mix between the rhythm and vocals will inevitably put some off, but hopefully not many as they will miss out on a band full of potential.
Written by Jonathon Barlow