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Seafood - Paper Crown King
(Cooking Vinyl)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 25, 2007

Review by Andy Argyrakis

U.K. indie rockers Seafood never racked up the attention it deserved throughout an initial mid-1990s run, but the band is back hoping to re-enter the limelight come Paper Crown King. It's a wise move considering the band's blend of Pavement and The Pixies, the latter of whom have arguably scored the most significant resurgence of the past few years. Aside from the renewed attitude amidst its players, Seafood also experienced a real life miracle following the illness of member David Line. The singer/songwriter suffered a collapsed lung and went through ten months of hospital visits and surgeries, followed by a painstaking but complete recovery.

Luckily he's back and better than before on the artistic front, helping the band turn in ten choice tracks of grinding alt-rock that fall in line with the aforementioned acts, while surely striking the fancy of Dinosaur Jr. and Nirvana fans. "I Will Talk" opens the album, which is a title that takes on an especially poignant meaning given Line's medical condition. However, he sounds incredibly strong while bursting through each building chorus across the cacophony of a rhythm section led by a snarling guitar underpinning. Its follow-up "Signal Sparks" doesn't explode upon initial impact, but it gradually builds to a sparking crescendo and an infectiously hopeful cry of "don't forget that you're living."

"Awkward Ghost" is one of the album's most sparse selections, taking on a haunting tone characterized by chilling hums and somber acoustics. But a mere two songs later, Seafood capitalizes on its delightfully schizophrenic tendencies with the riveting "Little Pieces," which could simultaneously impress Frank Black and influence Kurt Cobain if he were still alive. As the album simmers with the snarky and sneering "How You Gonna Live Without Me?," the group showcases yet another creative side with drummer Caroline Banks stepping up to the microphone over an occasional horn section and adrenaline packed alternative ending, signaling Seafood's here to exultantly stay.

Watch Seafood's - "Paper Crown King" promo

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