There’ve been a lot of good pop-punk albums to see daylight in 2013, and now you can add Seaway’s debut album to that list. It isn’t on a a level with say ‘The Greatest Generation’ or ‘The Finer Things’ but by no means is a bad album, and for a debut it’s full of promise and pop-punk anthems which any fan of the genre will lap up.
‘Hoser’ is energetic youthfulness in musical form, and the raw passion and determination is one of the most striking elements of the Canadian bands debut. Every second is as explosive and dynamic as possible, with around eight of the eleven tracks here rarely relenting for a at all. It’s very similar to bands like Knuckle Puck and even New Found Glory in that sense, and that’s what pop-punk should be – tireless. It’s often easy for bands to capture their energy on record but the ability to make a listener really feel it is entirely different, and Seaway have mastered it. It was a talent they hinted at on their self-titled EP, but ‘Hoser’ is a massive step up in comparison. The band seem to have grown immensely musically, and it shows.
Lead vocalist Ryan Locke is a somehwat untraditional pop-punk vocalist. His raspy delivery works excellently on ‘Hoser’ though, despite sounding weak at times. It helps set the band apart and adds more angst to the already solid lyrics, which focus on not being good enough, partying and unsurprisingly, girls. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before but lines like ‘how can every single try spawn a thousand bullshit lies?‘ and ‘I know it hurts you so bad to see a side of me you never have‘ are well written and definitely work, if only to give the audience something to relate to. Opener ‘Expectations’ is short and standard pop-punk with bouncy guitar riffs and hectic drumming, exploding instantly and setting a pace and tone for the songs that fellow. Fourth track ‘Too Fast For Love’ was probably my favourite track on ‘Hoser’ with a catchy chorus and more mellowed out instrumentation. If you’re already familiar with bands like Real Friends and The Story So Far then Seaway won’t really play anything you haven’t heard before but they a lot to offer in terms of excellent, contagious and spirited songs.
The second half of ‘Hoser’ is where the album really shines. There’s a little more variety and it also displays a more vulnerable and reflective side on tracks like ‘Slowing Down’ and ‘The Weight’, the latter of which features Shane Told of Silverstein fame. These more acoustic driven tracks are a welcome addition and break from the more rousing and aggressive songs which make up the majority of ‘Hoser’. Secondary vocalist Patrick Carleton also has a bigger part to play, bringing more melody to the table and allowing for a little more adventure on songs, like the back and forth parts on closer ‘Deferral’, slightly reminiscent of Taking Back Sunday.
‘Hoser’ is an above average pop-punk album which is surprisingly solid for a debut full length. If the band continue to grow like they already have then expect big things from them in the future, because their first album is brimming with energy and potential.
Rating – 8/10
Listen to – ‘Shy Guys’ / ‘Too Fast For Love’ / ‘The Weight’