There is an obvious pride in everything that Seafarer does. They create an experience, a different sound, a sound that is both gripping and intense. As their debut EP Hiding Places progresses, this theme resonates throughout. Seafarer cleverly weaves their way through a variety of different sounds & influences. The outcome is something different and original, while remaining full of power and intensity.
The band take full advantage of the slick production facilities available to them. Rather than sounding like a rough first effort, the sound is slick, and despite the intense wall of sound that is thrown at the listener, each individual instrument rings clear.
Seafarer does not easily fit into a box, their sound moves between indie rock, ’70s rock with a subtle influence of post-rock injected throughout. More than a standard rock CD; Hiding Places varies between tracks and even within every song.
The two guitars work beautifully together, with singer Patrick Grzelewski’s chunky rhythmic chords countered by Taylor Wood’s flowing lead. Without any solos, the guitars use various effects to create a wide range of sounds. At times, there are momentary pauses where the rest of the band is silent, allowing the two guitars to sing out together. This stopping and starting, which many bands attempt to use, often ruins the flow of songs. Fortunately in this case, it manages to add the desired intensity to the moment while keeping the song in check, the sound never becoming old.
Patrick Grzelewski’s voice is powerful, yet melodic. It comfortably moves from intense screams to quieter melodies. Comfortably fitting in anywhere from 70’s stadium rock, to metal to hard-core, his voice is perfectly suited exactly where it is. Even as the music behind him builds, rising to a giant force, his voice manages to come through clear and in control.
Choosing a highlight is difficult, as Hiding Places is more of an album than a collection of songs. Each track builds within itself and with each other, the varying speed and different sounds staying together, creating a congruent and powerful piece of work.
The opening track Translation is a perfect example. Starting slowly with guitar and drums, a second guitar soon joins in. Beautifully working in tandem, a real layered sound emerges, Grzelewski’s voice moves from crooning to shouting. As the track progresses, various background sounds are added, yet the song all fits together, a great example of the band taking various sounds and influences and managing to cram so much in while managing to keep the song together.
For a debut EP, Hiding Places is an excellent piece of work. The confidence and slickness shown shows maturity beyond Seafarer’s age. Definitely one to enjoy now, and one to watch for the future, Seafarer have produced a great album for listening to as a cure for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Hiding Places was released on 18 January 2011
Band Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/seafarerchicago