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Seasurfer – “Dive In” (Saint Marie, 2014)


 Seasurfer – “Dive In” (Saint Marie, 2014)

Is the world ready for Dreampunk? This German trio hopes so, and their debut long player introduces us to the latest hybrid in the never-ending world of sonic subgenres in which we live in (all apologies to Macca!) Black metallic shards of glistening guitar fuzz weave around Dorian’s icy, Teutonic Siouxsie vocal inflections on opener (and debut single) “Stay”. And appropriating a Banshee title for the dreamy closer (“Fireworks”) is just inviting the already strong comparisons to the Ice Queen! And the goths are gonna love this – imagine a female Andrew Eldritch, only a little smoother around the edges. “Hide” is another early favourite, with its soaring guitars, Dorian’s strident, emotional vocals, and the tight rhythm section propelling the track heavenward. An obvious choice for next single, it’s even better than “Stay”.
               There’s a dancey vibe to several tracks which invites Clan of Xymox comparisons – maybe it’s that European darkwave influence, but the gloom and doom are kept to a minimum and listeners will hear more of Saint Marie’s patented Nugaze ambience at work here. But fans of sophisticated boom-booms are not the only ones to benefit from this exciting release. ‘Cloudjumping’ is as infectious as the common cold (and a lot more fun), “The Big Panthers War” is an exhilarating amalgamation of nugaze, dreampop, and chilly dancefloor reverberations (even if I haven’t the foggiest what it’s about!), and the title track (presented in Dorian’s native tongue as “Nacht Nukleus”) introduces the “dreampop” element to their sound that expands their musical horizons beyond the earlier europunk elements and offers hypnotically soothing sounds of the “chill out” variety. A nice change of pace from the more aggressive tracks, which prevents the album from disintegrating into a maelstrom of sameness that often suffocates debut albums from artists who’ve discovered a new sound and are loathe to deviate from their basic modus operandi.
                 So, kudos to Seasurfer for giving us something new, dazzling, and addictive. Another winner from Saint Marie and an album I’ll dig out often throughout the year.

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2014
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