Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Album Review: Seahaven - Winter Forever

Album Rating: C
Well, upon first listen, Seahaven had me hooked. The promos I had initially heard pointed to greatness; a familiar, yet comforting sound that was equal parts post-hardcore and pop-punk, sort of in the vein of Title Fight. I had high hopes to say the least, as Seahaven’s endearing sound really struck a chord. And while their debut, Winter Forever has all the makings of a great album, it simply doesn’t get off the ground. Fun and energetic for sure, but the lack of diversity keeps the album from soaring to the heights that it is so capable of.

Winter Forever is by no means a bad album, hell; it’s actually a very fine listen. Seahaven are a fun band, but they aren’t simply all fluff either. Winter Forever has its fair share of catchy hooks, but the band crafts many more thoughtful songs than one would initially imagine. Mix the occasional somber melodies with the introspective lyrics, and what you have is an album with a bit of emotional depth. This is where Seahaven excel, writing lovingly crafted songs that have the energy and power of a catchy pop-punk song, but also featuring some more meaty aspects as well.

The problem, however, is that Seahven can’t sustain their excellence throughout an entire album. Songs blend together, hooks and melodies become repetitious, and although he’s a great vocalist, Kyle Chadwick doesn’t have the range to captivate over a course of several songs. Perhaps that isn’t his fault, because the music itself isn’t too conducive to vocal experimentation. Each track has a similar tone and progression; that one song is fine, really, but for those who want a more varied and diverse experience, Winter Forever may not be for you.

Despite the rather flat, bland execution, Winter Forever is still a worth-while listen. Fun, energetic, catchy-these things truly do describe Seahaven and their debut record. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t enough to float an otherwise tepid tracklist. There is no doubt in this reviewer’s mind that if Seahaven learn to diversify their sound and produce an eclectic batch of songs that really play at their strong points, then they could drop one doozy of a record. As much as I’d love to say Winter Forever is this record, I just can’t. Enjoyable? Why, yes, the album is a fine work of modern day pop-punk/post-hardcore, it just isn’t quite as grand as it could have been, and honestly, should have been.


1. Goodnight
2. It’s Over
3. Slow Down
4. Thank You
5. Black & White
6. Save Me
7. End of the World
8. Understanding
9. Honey Bee
10. PV

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