I never thought I’d be able to like a band named “Sea Wolf,” but here we go. I dig ‘em. I dig ‘em a lot, actually.
Like much of what I’ve heard in recent months, Sea Wolf owes a debt to the 1970s. But what makes Alex Brown Church’s brand of songwriting different is that instead of being nostalgic (or derivative), he fuses the simplicity of catchy light-rock song structure with the lo-fi, D.I.Y. production that has always been a mainstay of indie rock bands like the eels and American Analog Set. And also like those bands, the vocals don’t stretch past the music. They stay level, telling sad relationship tales with a matter-of-factness that lacks self-pity (i.e., it ain’t emo) and self-indulgence (i.e., it ain’t American Idol).
Take the break-up song “The Garden That You Planted,” for example. Ending with the refrain, “Everything around me has changed, but the garden that you planted is the same,” the song won’t make you cry, but it might make you think. Or check out the everyone-hates-be-‘cause-I’m-me song, “You’re A Wolf” (“You’re a wolf boy, get out of this town”). Then there’s, “I Made a Resolution,” featuring the slow build of Arcade Fire, but without the obscurity. “Sea Monuments” is great too—catchy and quick. They’re all good. Not a clunker here.
The EP is full of these kind of subtle, longing, and wonderful tales guaranteed to reward multiple listens.
Plus, they’re touring with Silversun Pickups How cool is that?
This album gets Berkeley Place’s ultra double secret highest recommendation.
You’re a Wolf-Sea Wolf
Black Dirt-Sea Wolf
You can buy it on May 8th from Filter.
Another great show today, this time from Ron Sexsmith’s gig at the SF Fillmore on April 5th 1996: An opening show for John Hiatt. The quality is very good, but the real treat is the cover of “I Was Made to Love Her.” It’s absolutely fabulous. Click it below and discover.
01. From a Few Streets Over
02. Lebanon, Tennessee
03. Summer Blowin’ Town
04. Words We Never Use
05. There’s a Rhythm
06. First Chance I Get
07. In Place Of You
08. Wastin’ Time-Ron Sexsmith
09. I Was Made to Love Her [Stevie Wonder] I Was Made To Love Her (alternate link)-Ron Sexsmith
I Was Made to Love Her-Ron Sexsmith (alternate link)
10. Secret Heart