Seahaven - Ghost
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Record Label: Creator-Destructor Records (now on Run for Cover Records)
Comparing a new group to Brand New always seems to strike a chord among the users of this website. It's almost never really warranted, except in special circumstances. For example, The Republic of Wolves' recent LP Varuna was pretty worthy of the simple comparison to Long Island's proudest sons. In 2010, a band called Seahaven came out with an EP called Ghost, and that release didn't get nearly as much as attention as it should have, considering who the band sounds like.
Seahaven doesn't really sound too much like Brand New, but there are striking similarities between the groups. On its debut EP, Seahaven explores a very transparent back-and-forth between their dark and light sounds, a lot like what we saw Brand New do on Deja Entendu and The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. Vocalist/guitarist Kyle Soto has that voice that exudes an audible pain sometimes, while at other times sounding so damn hopeful that it might break your heart even more. When Seahaven is playing sadder and darker music, it tends to be more in the vein of perhaps Crime In Stereo, or to compare the band to a more contemporary peer, Balance & Composure. Not many bands are playing this type of music, and a large percentage of the groups that are trying aren't doing it very well. Seahaven isn't just doing it well - they border along fantastic.
"Plague," "Bottled" and "Cobarde" each explore the group's darker edge, with the latter featuring a more accessible chorus. Seahaven is extremely good at presenting and keeping constant a large array of emotions in a single song, and it is this trait that keeps listeners entranced. Much like Brand New, the band naturally captures the emotions and attention of the listener hand in hand, making for special individual songs and an even more impressive holistic product.
The title track is slightly overlooked in the course of the seven-track release, but that's really a shame. Soto's dirty vocals on the song are brilliantly executed, as the song is essentially an audible catharsis. Impactful guitars slice the air where James Phillips' drums more than adequately keep the necessarily high-tempo pace. That track sets up the undoubted standout from the EP, a track simply entitled "Love." Soto's vocal melody is almost unrealistically catchy, and it's used early and often. It never really gets repetitive, mainly because of the simple reason that it's phenomenal, but the guest appearance on the song is what completes the package. Jordan Brown of Set Your Goals is an accomplice to Soto, making the lighter song just that much more easy to listen to.
Truth be told, it's a song like "Love" that makes me excited about music. It's one of the few songs I've heard recently that I can put on repeat for hours without ever getting bored. The passion, drive, and undeniable catchiness of the track will make it a staple for fans of the quiet-loud-quiet-loud-quiet-very loud indie rock genre.
After listening to Ghost more as an entirety, the conclusive agreement I have reached with my inner music critic is that Seahaven is most likely going to take the entire universe by storm in 2011. Maybe I overreacted there a little, and they'll settle for an impressive showing on the west coast, in their home state of California, and in the northeast, where they'll surely tour with several awesome No Sleep/Run for Cover acts. With Ghost, Seahaven debuted a lot like Balance & Composure did with Only Boundaries. It's only a handful of songs, and the raw talent is obvious, but the potential...the potential of this band isn't something that is so easily compared.
So happy you reviewed this. I've been talking about this band for awhile now and I'm glad they're are finally getting recognition. Great review and fair score. I see big things with this band now that they've signed to Run For Cover and are releasing a full length this summer.