Canada has long been turning out some of the most groundbreaking pop-punk North America has to offer. Whether it’s more commercial acts like Sum 41 to not-as-well known bands like Daggermouth (RIP), our neighbors up north have done a great job of infiltrating and subtly influencing and changing punk’s most accessible sub-genre as we know it.
Now, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to newer pop-punk. I feel like the genre is pretty over-saturated right now with more bands than are listenable and not a ton of individuality. That said, Seaway isn’t the most groundbreaking band by any means. But their sound is refreshing to me and I’ve actually been following the band since Dying Scene posted about “Sabrina the Teenage Bitch” several years ago. 2013’s Hoser was a solid release as well, and I had a blast watching them live on that touring cycle. However, this year’s Colour Blind seems unfortunately unimaginative, and it struggled to keep my attention through the whole thing.
While listening through Colour Blind, it’s easy to feel that Seaway’s gotten lazy in their songwriting. The lyrics are cheesier, the tempos drag on, and the songs sound like generic pop rock rather than something unique. It unfortunately seems like more of a regression than any kind of progression or continuity of their last record.
Early in the record, the listener can get the feel of what Seaway’s album is going to sound and feel like. “Best Mistake”, the album’s second track, is a great precursor for the rest of the record. While a very New Found Glory-ish jump-up-and-down song, it’s unfortunately pretty cheesy and doesn’t contribute much that you haven’t heard before from bands like this. Sadly, the rest of the album is very similar with cliche hooks, progressions, song structures, and lyrics. Just about every song has at least something that sticks out a bit, but overall they don’t give you any reason to listen to Seaway over any other band in the genre.
Colour Blind has some bright moments on it though. “Trick”, the album’s third track, is the kind of track I wish I would have seen more of on the record and what I think is good about this newer brand of pop-punk when done right. A little faster, a bit more attention-grabbing, catchy without the corniness, and not too technical for it’s own good (although Seaway is very technical if you listen hard enough). The ninth track on the record, “Growing Stale”, is a different feel for the album while still maintaining consistency with the overall style. While a little less jumpy, it’s definitely worth a listen and sticks out among the rest of the tracks as better-written and just different overall.
The album’s three ending tracks, “The Day That She Left”, “Turn Me Away” and “Goon” fit well as end of the record songs, but in conjunction with the previous songs on the album, don’t do much to save Colour Blind as a whole.
I personally still have hope for Seaway. I think they’re good musicians and they have a knack for writing hooks. A little more maturity or thought put into their songwriting would probably do them well though, as this album seems stale and unimaginative.
Unfortunately, I’m giving Colour Blind a 2.5/5, but while that seems harsh, you should still keep an eye out for what this band does in years to come, because this album could just be their sophomore slump.