Seaway can do no wrong. Following three successful full-length albums (2013’s Hoser, 2015’s Colour Blind and 2017’s Vacation) it comes as no surprise that their latest effort, Big Vibe is filled with banger after timeless banger. While one can always expect bright, upbeat, punchy tunes from the Canadian pop-punk band, the group has taken a slight step away from their roots on their new album in favor of dipping their toes into a more retro, 80’s pop-rock influenced sound. That’s definitely not to say that you won’t hear the first few lines of the opening track, “Brain In a Jar” and immediately recognize Ryan Locke’s signature vocals, but it’s certainly refreshing to hear the band exploring new sounds.
If one had to choose just a few words to describe Seaway’s sound, they might be “catchy as fuck”, and that much can easily be said about the diverse songs that make up Big Vibe. Following the explosive opener is the album’s title track, which really encompasses the tone of the songs to follow. While it still hosts that undeniable pop-punk edge that put Seaway on the map, “Big Vibe” finds the band experimenting with a fresh yet timeless sound, which is only solidified on the following track, “Mrs. David,” which feels like an 80’s anthem.
While Seaway clearly had a vision for the sonic direction of Big Vibe, it’s refreshing to discover, as the album chugs forward, that they don’t simply rely on nostalgia or retro guitar tones to drive it home. Instead, each and every song on Big Vibe stands strong on its own, from the light and dreamy “Wild Things” to “Pathetic,” which hosts some of the album’s strongest vocal work, or even the emotionally powerful closer, “Sick Puppy.” Seaway have proven time and time again that they not only have staying power in the pop-punk scene, but that they’re capable of bridging genres and breaking out of their niche as well. With Big Vibe, they’ve simply confirmed that they’re capable of just about anything.
LISTEN TO: “Big Vibe” and “Mrs. David”