# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Seafood - Messanger In The Camp

  by Peter Liddle

published: 17 / 12 / 2001

Seafood - Messanger In The Camp
Label: Fierce Panda
Format: CD


Seafood have come a long way since 'Messenger in the Camp', their debut eight track mini album, was first released in 1998. The four-piece released their first full length CD ' Surviving the Quiet'

Seafood have come a long way since 'Messenger in the Camp', their debut eight track mini album, was first released in 1998. The four-piece released their first full length CD ' Surviving the Quiet' in January of this year. They are now currently recording their next album, and will also be touring Japan and the USA in the next few months. The success of 'Surviving the Quiet' has lead to 'Messenger in the Camp', which consists of various early singles, B-sides and Xfm sessions, and which for new fans had been hard to get, being re-released. Coming half way through their second nationwide tour (supported by the likes of Gerling), it is a welcome and interesting addition to those who , like me, heard 'Surviving the Quiet' first. 'Messenger in the Camp' is a very different album from 'Surviving the Quiet' .While all the usual Seafood trimmings and trademarks are there-screaming guitars, plinky solos and lots of wonderful strums-it is a much lighter album. There is a lot less distortion. The band spend also spend less time building their music up and less riff-endowed, it instead seems to enjoy a much more open sound. It is a very pleasant experience. The openers, 'Scorch Comfort' and 'Psychic Rainy Nights' are both singalong in nature. They show why Seafood are doing well , their experimental side also giving room for a melody and listenability that their mentors Sonic Youth often don't bother with. The experimentation is continued on the third track, the rip-roaring "Porchlight" which begins with the ambiguous mantra of "There's a house on a lake" and then eventually opens out into to a verse that explains all. There is in fact a whole story, history, and future to the 'Porchlight' story. On this song Seafood undertake a stance of "Let's not stick to one thing, let's do lots in one song and add a hundred different things" . While their sound is less epic as a result, you're never left waiting like you are with some experimental music for something to happen! Other highlights of the album include "Ukiah", an acoustic number which has Kevin the bassist balancing great harmonies with vocalist David Line's melancholic, half-dejected words. It's a simple but effective tune, and draws comparisons with Nick Drake.The final track,' Dig', again screams "Look what we can do". It once more proves to be both diverse and experimental and even has an answer machine conversation that fits in so perfectly at the end of the track that it's just beautiful. While less heavily produced than 'Surviving the Quiet' - it is softer and more malleable really -'Messenger in the Camp' stops for more breaths, and makes room for more wacky guitar solos. Listen to David at one point, for example, uttering the word "guitars" in a Mike-Oldfield 'Tubular bells' style instrument calling fiasco. Progress is still progress though. If Seafood had stopped here, I would have no problem with it., but even on this early album their potential is still easy to see. With the strength of tracks like 'Porchlight' and 'Dig' (still two regulars on the playlist at gigs) Seafood are already showing how diverse they are and have carried this onto their next album. I'm glad they have chosen to take their music forward in the direction they have, but 'Messenger in the Camp' is still worth a look. It is more open and, to a Seafood fan at least, perhaps more interesting.

Track Listing:-
1 Scorch Comfort
2 Psychic Rainy Nights
3 Porchlight
4 Ukiah
5 Rot Of The Stars
6 Dope Slax
7 We Felt Maroon
8 Dig

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