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Album Review: Seaway – Big Vibe

Seaway trade pop-punk for alt.rock on fourth album Big Vibe…

Seaway have done some serious growing up. Despite emerging alongside dyed-in-the-wool pop-punkers like ROAM, WSTR and State Champs, the Toronto natives have gradually been pivoting their sound towards something more refined. The band’s last two albums – 2017’s Vacation and 2019’s Fresh Produce – both saw them blossoming beyond their pop-punk roots, and now they’ve arrived at Big Vibe, the record where they’ve truly come of age.

The jaunty opening riff of excellent first song Brain In A Jar encapsulates the feel-good outlook the record as a whole has to offer. Followed by a title-track that stays just the right side of cheesy, Big Vibe bursts out of the gate with vigour, embracing a take on Seaway’s sound that leans more on alt.rock than the band ever have before, and incorporates more progressive elements like synths to accentuate things further still.

It’s this stride away from pop-punk and into more straight-up rock territory that yields strong results here. Pathetic is a charming number that combines a Weezer-esque quirk with some boisterous choruses, while Peach is a similarly anthemic highlight that’s topped off by some vibrant guitar solos. Closing track Sick Puppy, meanwhile, is a buoyant conclusion that ends with a very big vibe indeed.

There’s the odd wobble – Mrs. David and Sweet Sugar both feel slick and functional but lacking in any real substance – but overall, this 11-track collection is comfortably the strongest album the quartet have put their name to. Seaway have used this record to spread their wings, all the while retaining the sense of fun that brought the band success in the first place, and that makes Big Vibe a pretty big win.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Weezer, The Starting Line, Four Year Strong

Big Vibe is released on October 16 via Pure Noise Records

Read this: The 51 greatest pop-punk albums of all time

Posted on October 13th 2020, 12:35pm
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