Seaway
Colour Blind


4.0
excellent

Review

by nigelgrab USER (9 Reviews)
October 30th, 2015 | 10 replies


Release Date: 10/23/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: By embracing the genre's roots, Seaway has crafted one of the finest pop punk albums of 2015, and easily the band's best work to date.

Abandoning the light-hearted roots in favour a more mature sound seems to be a trend among modern pop punk bands, with many taking inspiration in recent releases from emo and/or hardcore (The Story So Far, The Wonder Years and so on). While many artists benefit from developing their sound in this way, Seaway’s growth on Colour Blind does not come from making reference to supposedly darker or more “mature” genres. Instead, they focus on the aspects of pop punk that defined the genre in its prime, and in doing so have crafted one of the best records in the genre so far this year.

The slow beginning of opening track Slam not only contradicts what the song title promises, but is deceptively bland in tone in comparison with the bulk of the album. After the band makes a baffling two second entry with building snares that snap back to guitar and voice, the true nature of this record reveals itself: Ryan Locke’s gravelly voice shouting “Everything is cool, man” followed by the band’s explosively bouncy entry, dual vocals and all. This is Seaway at their best – goofy self-aware lyrics, fun energetic riffs and dual vocals that harmonise and alternate in a way that just oozes happiness. From this moment through the next four tracks, Seaway gains a simply stunning momentum of high quality, high energy and at times euphoric songs, and for the most part maintains this standard across the album.

Compositionally, most of the songs on this record run with this light-hearted approach, with tracks like Best Mistake augmenting simple major key riffs and melodies with ample rhythmic variation and vocal melodies that take full advantage of their dual vocalist situation. They seem to recognise the strength of simple melodies when supported by creative variation and performances so energetic you can’t help but smile. A great example of this is the chorus of Still Weird, where the combination of the harmonised and alternated vocals with lively noodling guitars underneath, finishing with a cheeky accidental chord makes for perhaps the greatest chorus in pop punk this year. One of the reasons this album is so enjoyable is its unashamed embrace of the pop aspects of pop punk. For instance, Big Deal and Best Mistake sound like they could quite easily earn mainstream radio play, with bouncy sing-along choruses that make no compromise in the writing department to achieve their pop appeal.

The only flat moments on this record are the slower, stripped-down sections which see the band grind to a halt in their sudden decision to be solemn. For instance, moving from the breathtaking Still Weird into the bog-standard guitar-and-vocal intro of Stubborn Love is disappointing not just because of the comparatively boring writing and performance, but because it stops the incredible momentum built up across the first five tracks. Similar passages are present on opening and closing tracks Slam and Goon respectively, which is disappointing for the simple reason that these moments do no justice to the stunning quality of the rest of this album.

On Colour Blind, Seaway have easily trumped 2013’s Hoser without any significant overhaul to their sound, and in doing so make one of the most catchy and enjoyable pop punk albums of the year so far. Only time can tell if they earn the fame and respect they deserve, but anyone who enjoys pop punk should do themselves a huge favour and listen to Colour Blind.

Recommended songs: Best Mistake, Still Weird, Freak, Big Deal.



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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
nigelgrab
October 30th 2015


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full album streaming here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYQhPJrQIlgM7MsVUZhBcPCZAaOZpICvF

First review in a while, so feedback is definitely welcome.

Mutantsnowstorm
October 30th 2015


496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album is good, but I'm getting to that point where if i'm gonna enjoy pop punk music, there's gotta be something unique about it. This album is very by the books pop punk, like the new state champs record.



Great review though, really well written!

Honest1234
October 30th 2015


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

There isn't really much you can do unique in pop punk anymore. I mean the wonder years added lots of emo elements plus synth, organ, deep lyrics etc and some people say that they are an emo band already because of this with pop punk influences and if you add lots of tensions above a major 9th, such as an 11th, #11, 13 etc, the songs will then sound jazzy and lose that "catchiness" that makes pop punk pop punk. The keys to finding out a good pop punk album is i guess the consistency of songs, how one can arrange the rhythms of the chords being played with the drums, the drums, the dynamics, lyric themes (depends on the band), lead guitar lines, bass lines, vocals obviously, and maybe adding that one tiny new element or major new elements. You are correct in the fact that this album along with state champs is by the books but the difference is seaway made better song arrangements. Better lead lines. Better rhythms. better chord progressions and have more dynamics in the songs. State champs settled to become the next ATL, 5sos even if in fact they have so much more talent demonstrated by their older stuff. Plus the bassist can make killer tunes.

nigelgrab
October 30th 2015


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys! I get what you're saying about lack of innovation/ability to innovate in pop punk, but there have been some bands that change things up a bit. For instance, the smith street band and Jeff Rosenstock both incorporate elements of folk punk and pop punk in their music and give an interesting take on it. Totally agree about state champs though, I fell in love with The Finer Things and thought their new album was really bog standard pop punk. I don't doubt they could one day fill stadiums like all time low or 5sos but the new stuff is just boring.

LotusFlower
October 31st 2015


12002 Comments


I'm surprised by the 4 avarage, the first time around I thought this sounded painfully average. Guess k should it another go.

nigelgrab
October 31st 2015


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought it would be just average based on the singles but I was surprised after a few listens at how much I enjoyed the album. But yeah I was surprised by the 4 average at first too

Honest1234
October 31st 2015


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

jeff rosenstock tho is more of an emo band. and so is the smith street band. Those bands have a similar sound to promise ring, the get up kids, and jawbreaker which are all considered emo bands. This is what i was saying. Once you break boundaries of pop punk, it can be debated that the band is already a different genre. Just like the wonder years, just like turnover, just like modern baseball. It's unfortunate because classic rock is considered "diverse" because the only qualification to be a classic rock artist is to stand the test of time and be "rock" or be "rock in the 70's/80's" I mean nirvana is also in some classic rock radio stations because they stood the test of time. So the point is that pop punk shouldn't be heavily graded on innovation because of all the stuff I said in my 1st post and 2nd post.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 30th 2015


22442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

They make the simplicity of their sound work in their favor... But only 'Best Mistake' reaches lofty heights.

felipecardel
December 27th 2015


17 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

yeah this was a terrible year for pop punk

glorybox94
February 24th 2016


664 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Best Mistake is a great song!

Digging: Jay-Z - 4:44



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