written by Aaron DiDonato
I’m 23, an age where it seems that “nobody likes you”. I see that transition of “rectifying who you are with who you want to be with” as well, as I experience all that other Pop Punk blasé, blasé. While many listeners soak into the undertones and overtones of solemnness that the genre offers up, I’ve been on a quest to reflect my shortfalls and successes in a more positive, energetic light through music. Seaway’s Vacation offers just that. A persona carried from their previous work as bullish but also from a realist standpoint. This time around, the band comes across as poppier to appeal to a summer-like, on-the-go ambience of each location and place in time.
The choruses are at more of the focal point versus Colour Blind. This is ever so present on “Apartment”, “Lula on the Beach”, and “Something Wonderful”. The album transitions the ear from a familiar Pop Punk sound to a Pop Rock sound on a dime. The songs are layered with crowd vocals, claps, and a bit of gang vocals, while dual vocals are utilized between lead vocalist Ryan Locke and guitarist Patrick Carleton. The slight grungy tinge of Ryan’s vocals and shrieks are balanced out with Patrick’s cleans, sometimes taking lead through “Curse Me Out”, “Misery in You”, and “40 Over”. The lyricism takes you on a journey from the apartment doing nothing, walking the dog on the beach, London, Portland, Winnipeg, Indiana, LA, and Amsterdam. Seaway takes charge of change and life events, all while showing importance to enjoy the little things. The guitar riffs and instrumentation complement the melodies as it becomes “sweeter” sounding than ever before. A surprising, but fitting feature comes in “Scatter My Ashes Along the Coast or Don’t” from Caleb Shomo of Hardcore Punk band Beartooth.
If there’s something holding you back from listening to Pop Punk in the year 2017, look no further than Vacation. Seaway shows that they were the gleam in the eye of those flagship groups in the genre during the late 90’s and early 00’s. “Day Player” quite literally takes on a reminiscent sound of Third Eye Blind. In the album, you also see faint hints of Simple Plan (since their latest tour together), Good Charlotte, and even blink-182. The question is, will they help lead the mainstream revival of Pop Punk and the related subgenres?
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