Seafood - As the cry flows
Reviewed by Andreas on 10th May 2004
"We can tear this whole thing up" David Line sings on this third album by the mighty (yet still strangely underground) Seafood. "The heat walks against me" is Seafood's strongest song to date, and that song alone makes the album worth buying. This is a song that will make you remember things you thought you'd forgotten; it'll put images in your head and causes you to draw associations to... well, many things. It will give you that warm glow in your chest that you get when you hear a truly amazing song.
"The Heat Walks Against Me" is Seafood at their best - mixing screaming, shouting and massive guitar riffs with a pop sensibility that could well put them in the top 10. Typical Seafood, for anyone who already knows the band. "As the cry flows" shows that Seafood are thinking forward, but perhaps not enough. Opening track "I dreamt we ruled the sun" is dark and moody. Slow yet encapsulating. First single "Good Reason" is an all-out rock attack number which should make anyone want to jump up and down in a rapid motion.
So far so good. However, the album is built up of a few too many songs that are seemingly filler at first listen - and that might turn people off the entire Seafood experience. Particularly "Summer falls" makes me almost cringe, it's a slightly boring, yet rather strange, pop song with no catchy bits. At least not at first listen. It gets better after the album has been through the cd player a few times, but still, it doesn't grip at first listen. "Kicking the walls" is a good song, but it doesn't have the same passion as the aforementioned "The Heat Walks Against Me". Semi-slow Beatles-y ballad "Milk and Honey" however, makes for very pleasant listening, and the lyrics are actually utterly depressing even though the music is very cheerful. I don't know about you, but that does appeal to me.
Bad points aside, the album also has mountains of progress. Intermission track "1234" shows Seafood moving into a darker territory, slow guitar strumming and synths, lasting only a short minute and a half. Interesting indeed. "Sleepover" brings masses of melody into the mix, and drummer Caroline Banks' backup vocals are as sweet as ever. The band have retained their ability to mix harder songs with softer, beautiful songs. "Broken Promises" is a gorgeous and melancholic song that brings back memories of The Smashing Pumpkins, only without Billy Corgan's quite whiny voice.
On a musical level there is definite progress - the band has apparently spent a lot of time fussing over the songwriting, there are several more dimensions to this album than their previous efforts. They're also notably better at playing their instruments. Their lyrical aggression still intact, mixed with screampop and gentler ballads makes "As The Cry Flows" a valuable purchase for fans of Seafood and their type of indie rock. However, for the uninitiated, I do recommend their previous album "When do we start fighting?"
Although the album has its weaknesses, "The Heat Walks Against Me" makes it all worthwhile. You need to hear this song.
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