Seaway: ‘All In My Head’ EP Review

Pure Noise Records
Pure Noise Records

Seaway are one of my favourite up and coming pop-punk bands, hailing from Ontario, Canada. Their sound is practically indescribable; it’s just pure majestic pop-punk. When I heard they had an EP release following their last release in 2013, Hoser, I was ecstatic to say the least. Hoser is an amazing record, and I was wondering how they could even top that at all. But in fact, they have equalled, if not bettered, that release with All In My Head, despite the slight change of sound.

“Your Best Friend” is the leading single off the EP, and it is accompanied by a hilariously entertaining video that I can’t seem to stop watching. Seaway really know how to make a catchy pop-punk song that will appeal to the masses, and it’s evident with this tune. With generic pop-punk gravely vocals, guitar palm mutes and constant drumming, “Your Best Friend” is a surefire pop-punk hit. It’s quite similar, yet dissimilar, to Seaway’s previous releases, showing a complete evolution of sound that any mature band will show after a few releases. The pre-chorus of this song is just as big as the chorus, which is a hard thing to achieve; but Seaway have done it so perfectly.

The aim of this song, apparent through the video, is to poke fun at modern day boy-bands and their bubblegum pop sound (a tactic that another pop-punk band used in 1999 to catapult themselves to fame). Seaway manage to achieve this while also keeping their very unique and instantly recognisable sound, which I think is credit to them as a band. It was a clever move to make this song the lead single off the EP; it’s catchy, is highly accessible to a wide audience, and it’s just a genuinely good song.

“Alberta” is easily one of my favourites off the All In My Head EP. It opens so beautifully and gently, and the vocals are incredibly soft; which is another side to Seaway that they are keen to show off in this EP, and I’m digging it. There’s really nice lyrics to accompany the complexly beautiful instrumentals: “Lately they say I’m trying too hard / But maybe that’s what I needed to get this far”. “Alberta” is such a perfect blend of slow and fast pop-punk; which displays great musicianship and understanding of not only their genre, but of their audience, too. It’s one of those songs that you don’t feel guilty about pressing replay on for the 49th time in a row.

The fact that Seaway can show such a diverse range in their voices makes this band even more appealing, to me personally. With “Alberta,” Seaway have shown that they can stick to their pop punk roots, while also managing to hugely appeal to a mainstream audience (a feat that, yet again, a certain pop punk band did in 1999), which is the boost that this genre I think deserves. This song is perfect for any mood due to it’s amazing blend of paces and instrumentals. Seaway have actually just dropped a video for this song, and it’s actually a really nice watch; yet another reason to listen to this awesome band.

If you looked up “catchy pop punk song” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure “The Let Down” would just instantly begin playing when you hit the right page. The simplicity of the bassline behind the vocals makes for highly enjoyable listening. The pre-chorus builds up to the chorus so wonderfully – there are no instrumentals, simply Ryan Locke’s vocals – which makes the high energy focal point of the song stand out even more than it normally would.

Seaway have a knack for integrating backing vocals seamlessly into their work, and it is so pleasantly prominent in this song. Paradoxically to the first verse, the second maintains the high tempo of the chorus, which is another great touch to this song; one that I believe Seaway could only pull off. The breakdown is flawlessly gentle, cementing the fact that this song is, musically, an emotional rollercoaster. Although this is most definitely a Seaway stamped song, I can hear influences from early 2000’s pop punk bands such as Forever The Sickest Kids, and possibly a bit of NOFX thrown in there, too, making it a perfect homage to pop punk.

“If I Came Back For You” is a beauty. It’s one of those songs you listen to every day in a dark bedroom after you realise you have an unrequited love with someone you knew liked you previously. A niche situation, but I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. The lyrics are my favourite bit of this song: “And it’s my fault / My fault that I waited /My fault I was faded when I knew you / I let you sink, I let you curve / I let you slip with unsaid words / I watched the spark that you had for me die right in front of me / I take small steps to get my best and forget / who you are kid”, and “Here’s to hoping that / I can live with myself / Here’s to hoping that / Here’s to knowing that / I’m still right here” are definitely stand out examples. The introduction of a female voice in the breakdown, which hauntingly echoes the words of the male voice (“I’m still right here”), is a really beautiful touch, in my opinion. This is not a subtle song, but its emotion is crystal clear, and Seaway pull it off perfectly.

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