English sextet Seachange, fronted by Dan Eastop and boasting a full-time
violinist, offer a generic synthesis of alt-rock idioms on
Lay of the Land (Matador, 2004).
Even their tone is a synthesis, a synthesis of the two fundamental tones of
British rock music, the blue-collar tone and the intellectual tone.
The progression of Anglokana
goes through several degrees of volume, speed and emphasis, until it soars
like an anthem. A similar mutation takes Glitterball from a fairly
harmless lament to a shout drenched in nerve-wrecking guitar noise.
The weak point of these ballads is that the melody is relatively flat,
and the emotional value relies entirely on the arrangement, which is not
Elsewhere the band follows in the steps of the rock bands that have tried
to create a less traditional form of pop music.
News From Nowehere weds formulaic ska-punk-pop and
Sonic Youth's obsessive strumming.
No Questions echoes REM over a beat from the British 1980s.
SF is an intriguing take on the Velvet Underground and the Stooges,
as is (in a completely different manner) the noisier Do It All Again
(yet another crescendo of volume, speed and emphasis).
However, despite the occasional success, this album has a clear problem:
Seachange does not have enough ideas to fill an entire album.
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