Paper Crown King Label: Cooking Vinyl
There is nothing like a real-life brush with the Grim Reaper to serve as a springboard to creativity. Lead singer David Line of UK indie pop band Seafood experienced just that when a collapsed lung had him in and out of the hospital and surgeries for nearly a year. But while the mood and lyrical content of Seafood’s new album, Paper Crown King, are decidedly gloomy, the total package is one that we, along with the band, can now sit back and enjoy. This is a band that has come of age, and Paper Crown King effectively marries quiet moments with the right amount of distortion to go along with some really well-crafted songs.
The first track, “I Will Talk,” is like a modern-day, male-fronted Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Line belts out the chorus like a man springing from his hospital bed should. “Signal Sparks” uses dynamics masterfully, with chiming guitars giving way to Marshall stacks and soaring hooks. The drum rolls and haunting guitar in the midst of “Time & Tides” might remind you early Black Sabbath, but when Line starts singing, a more apt comparison would be to fellow indie popsters the Juliana Theory. On the acoustic “Awkward Ghost,” you can almost feel the pain and subsequent triumph Line was going through. The band shows a hefty set of balls on rockers like “Last Outpost” and “Little Pieces,” and the title track is a singsong gem that is buried too deep on this album.
While the band name Seafood is a curious one (who doesn’t picture a bright red crustacean on a plate with a cup of melted butter?), the band’s music is anything but fishy-tasting. It is instead the right amount of musical salt, pepper, and spices to make up a dish where you can hear all the parts, but marvel at the presentation and flavor. And for David Line, dessert comes in the form of more time to live life and make really good music.