Alec Reviews Music: Seaway rounds out the summer with ‘Vacation’

Alec Erickson

We all can use a vacation.

Album cover for Seaway's Vacation
Photo Courtesy: iTunes

For the band Seaway, they couldn’t be any further away from that. Touring and putting out a new album is a lot of work, and that is exactly what Seaway keeps doing.

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This band hasn’t had much of a chance to catch their breath. They keep cranking out new music, and each subsequent release is cleaner and more polished than the last. The band’s third studio album “Vacation” is their take on a thematic album, and it is a great way to celebrate the end of the summer.

Seaway is based out of Ontario, Canada. What’s surprising is how long they have been around. They can be traced back to 2011. In the six short years, the band has already released two studio albums, “Hoser” and “Colour Blind,” as well as four extended plays. The unique blend of emo and pop-punk has always worked well for the band, but what makes them stand out is just how well Patrick Carleton and Ryan Locke work together as vocalists. This is a band that really knows how to perform together as a unit, and each individual part plays into the overall performance, which is exactly what’s happening in “Vacation.”

“Vacation” is a 12-track record that clocks in at around 40 minutes in length. From the start, listeners will notice there is a theme, which is more of a party rock anthem. There is less emo music than some of the band’s previous releases, but it works well here. This record is the band mostly just trying something new and different. From catchy riffs to melodies to shout along with, there is a lot that people will appreciate with “Vacation.”

Musically, everything is built around the idea of being catchy and fun. This is both a good and a bad thing. The good thing about this is that the record has a much more polished sound. But “Vacation” carries pretty much the same tone from begging to end. If you listen to something like “London” or “40 Over,” you pretty much know exactly what you are getting by the first chorus. The bad thing about this is that there isn’t a whole lot of progression on a lot of the tracks. For example, “Day Player” and “Neurotic” are not the most dynamic tracks on the record and don’t do a whole lot. While Seaway uses a lot of layers, it would nice to hear that reflected in all the tracks as opposed to just a handful.

Lyrically, we hear Seaway really settle into their songwriting capability. The band still knows how to write one liners that stick with you after listening, and they have made a lot more memorable tracks this time around. Tracks like “Scatter My Ashes Along the Coast or Don’t” and “Curse Me Out” are perfect to shout along with when they pick up, which is why they are a few of the standout tracks. Then you listen to something like “Something Wonderful,” which has a “Friends” reference almost shoe horned in, but it works. The only track that seems really forced when it comes to the writing is “Day Player.” 

Should you listen to it? Yes!

With the summer season begging to wind down, a lot of people can use a good reminder of the fun that can be had, and that is where “Vacation” fits right in. Seaway is way past the sophomore slump and starting to make some music that they really want to make, and you can hear that throughout this record. There is plenty of tracks to throw in your playlist. After all, we can all use a vacation.

Collegian Music Critic Alec Erickson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @CTV_ACE.