In a genre dominated by bands that little girls like to quote on tumblr such as The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, and Real Friends, Canada natives, Seaway, are quickly making waves in pop punk by bringing the fun, lightheartedness back to the scene. They came out swinging in 2011 with the release of their self-titled EP. After two years of rigorous touring, they have returned with their debut full-length album, Hoser. And boy, what a debut it is.
There is definitely something special about any band that can completely alter your mood based on their music. Seaway’s Hoser is my go-to album if I’m having a bad day. Their first full-length album brings some of the most fun songs I’ve heard come out of pop punk for a long time. The opening song, “Expectations”, sets the tone for the album with fast, galloping drum beats and dueling guitar parts that compliment each other better than gravy and mashed potatoes. The combination of gritty, grunge-influenced vocals that are provided by Ryan Locke, and the cleaner, higher-pitched vocals provided by guitarist, Patrick Carleton works quite well together, and brings a fresh vocal style to pop punk. During my listen-through of Hoser, the vocals were definitely the first thing that really stood out to me.
Hoser continues on its fast-paced musical thrill ride with the next track, “What’s Really Good.” From the beginning of this song, I couldn’t help but feel as though early Green Day was a huge influence on the writing of Hoser. The opening guitar and drum parts remind me of something that you would be able to find on American Idiot. Unlike Green Day, however, Seaway doesn’t stick with the same four chords throughout the entire song.
While listening to Hoser, there were several things that stood out to me. The use of two vocalists really adds a new element to their music. Locke has a very unique voice that I could honestly see being a staple for Seaway, much like Parker Cannon’s voice is for The Story So Far. Another aspect of this album that I relished was the use of two guitarists. There is no defined lead guitarist, or rhythm guitarist. Both guitarists showcase incredible skills with a combination of powerchord-heavy riffs and single-note riffs that would rival that of Blink-182. One element of this album that I appreciate more than I enjoy is the fact the bass can actually be heard. So many bands in modern music completely forget that a bass guitar is actually an instrument. Either there is zero bass in the song mix, or the treble is so high on the bass track, that there’s no low-end. Seaway does the bass guitar, an often forgotten instrument, the justice it deserves. As a bassist, I really appreciate that. The final element of Hoser that I thoroughly enjoyed was the fact that as a whole, the album is not over-produced. The drums sound real, not triggered. The guitar parts are complex, yet simple enough to be pulled off live, and lastly, the vocals are not auto-tuned all over the place.
While Seaway’s Hoser is an incredibly fun and fast-paced album to listen to, I feel like they need to branch out a bit more with their song structure. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love this album, but it tends to become a bit repetitive after the first few songs. I love the pace of this album, but there is only one track that is a slower song. I would like to see a little more diversity from Seaway on their next release. Hearing fast song after fast song, with only one break gets a little boring. This really hurt the score I gave the album. Despite this one complaint, Seaway is doing pop punk right. The lyrics are light-hearted. Seaway doesn’t make you question your emotions like so many other pop punk bands nowadays. They’re just out to have some fun, which is the essence of Hoser, as a whole.
It’s a very solid release from a very underrated band. I can already tell you that Hoser will be the soundtrack to summer for me in 2014. If you want some good, old-fashioned pop punk that’s better fit for a house party than a coffee house, then be sure to pick up Hoser by Seaway.
Here’s the itunes link if you like what you read/hear!
Written by: Dylan Thompson – December 15th, 2013