Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review: Sea Stars - The Unknown

Our generation is loud, crass and often out of control. I'm into those qualities sometimes, but it will usually become too much to handle. We live in a time where everything has to install instant gratification, and nothing can take its time to get to you. Be here now, buy this now, hell, even the music people make today feels like they have no time to really put care into it. It's sad, because there is plenty of stuff out there that is the polar opposite of this truth we've come to accept everyday. Not everything has to have dub-step beats and a million pieces of electronics to make us happy. This is something, I believe, Sea Stars knows very well.

Atmospheric, and rooted in a basic, but not simplistic version of indie-rock, Sea Stars are the kind of band you grab a cup of tea and chill out to. It never goes out of its way to impress, but doesn't have to because the power is in the mood it creates, not the beat its creating. It has a folk vibe to it, however it doesn't succumb to the generic tropes one needs to be considered so. 

"Bittersweet" and "The Devil & The Man" have a country vibe to them, but they both stay rooted enough not to wander into Garth Brooks territory (I know nothing of modern country, can't you tell?). They're fine deviations, if not altogether remarkable additions to the rest of the album because they almost don't blend in with the feel of the remainder of the album. But "Colors Of The Sun", which has a slight psycobilly touch to it along with the country notes, sticks out because of its structure and toe-tapping catchy-ness. Not trying to say they're not capable of some stellar, catchy riffs once in a while, but when a band opts for atmosphere instead of focusing on the genre, the music can often feel a little bland.

It also has to be mentioned that these guys must be influenced by The Swell Season, because if not, "Sweet Mourning" and "Long After" could pass off as knock offs to most people who wouldn't know better. That's a compliment, trust me, because even if they don't listen to The Swell Season, the mere fact they sound like them is a testament to their songwriting skills. They're both indie, but folk-oriented, and with a pop tweak to them that makes it pretty accessible to just about anyone. It's good because everyone kind of needs something to chill them out in this hostile world, and songs like these two deliver that vibe in spades.

Sea Stars have done a pretty nice job here on their debut album. They feel more mature and polished than a band making their first record, and, while not perfect, its strenghts far outweigh the few weaknesses it has. It's nice to have bands like this still being formed in our time, because if we didn't, we all might be a little bit too stressed out for out own good. - Shane


  1. I enjoyed your review. I too feel the need to “chill” and find comfort in the fresh familiarity of Sea Stars. Just what I need for my crazy life, a place to retreat and find myself.

  2. Good review Shane! Sea Stars are truly connected to something greater than themselves and I can hear it in their music. I have a copy of the new album headed my way and can't wait to hear what you have so purposefully described. I love the space between the notes as much as I love the notes they play. They are truly artists of love, peace and harmony! Thanks again!

  3. I love this album. They both are truly amazing songwriters and vocalists. It's a magical soothing ride, they sing from the heart and it shows. Long After is my favorite and it's so dear to my heart.