For Fans Of
If you’ve ever heard of The Defend Pop Punk group on Facebook, you’re either a) a member or b) scared of it. Either way, those guys are gonna adore this new Seaway album. It’s chock-a-block with everything we love about that scene, from its candid, tongue-in-cheek lyricism to its ‘literally all I have to do is say pop punk for you to know what this sounds like’ instrumentals.
It kicks off with ‘Slam’, which is initially soft and heartfelt but dives into a deep cultural relevance with the outpouring, ‘everything is cool man’. Next cab off the rank ‘Best Mistake’ continues down that road, lighter than Coke Zero and centralising a We Are The In Crowd-esque sound, catchy yet gritty vocals holding it down. Fast-paced ‘Big Deal’ is also a light-hearted listen.
The inclusiveness of this scene, the alternative being a haven for the ostracised or defiant, is epitomised on ‘Freak’ and ‘Still Weird’, a dual sword to fight the powers of conformity that be. Along the line of self-empowerment comes ‘Growing Stale’, a self-affirming, angst-packed, guitar-loaded embodiment of identity, preaching: ‘there’s something comforting about knowing who I am’.
Like all Red Bull Highs, what goes up must come down. This album doesn’t do that quality-wise – it sustains a marked consistency until its end – but it does do it in terms of positivity. From the rock-nostalgia of ‘Day She Left’ onwards, the LP becomes a frowner, its drums lending weight to heavy subject songs. ‘Turn Me Away’ is dark, but simultaneously, the stand out track, mostly because its fast playthrough makes it an intense and candid pass of the time. The very relatable title of ‘Goon’ marks the closer of the record, which is less full instrumentally than its predecessor and a sad portrait of the less-green grass on the other side. It can’t get more real, nor more absolutely, unquestionably, stereotypically pop punk, than this: ‘what a nice day, my girlfriend left me for some other dude’.
Luckily for us, this is not a re-record of Neck Deep or The Story So Far. Yes, it is as pop punk as it gets, but it’s also authentic, an outpouring with enough depth to qualify it as ‘not just another’. You can fight us, but that actually makes it better than anything Neck Deep or The Story So Far have ever done. This record is punchy and something to embrace: it feels youthful and naïve. Fingers crossed these guys teach the rest of their contemporaries a thing or two about sincerity.
2. Best Mistake
5. Still Weird
6. Stubborn Love
10. Day She Left
11. Turn Me Away