# 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

Sealevel - Beach From Last Summer

  by Chris Jones

published: 18 / 10 / 2005

Sealevel - Beach From Last Summer
Label: Firestation Tower
Format: CD


Debut album from new Berlin-based jangly indiepop band the Sealevel, who have formed out of the ashes of the critically acclaimed the Seaside Stars

When I think of Berlin images of beaches, surfing, and lounging in the sun have never come to mind. Yet somehow Berlin based the Sealevel have managed to create an album mostly full of jangly guitars, Beach Boys-esque harmonies, some Teenage Fanclub buzz, and thoughts of summer and the beach. Maybe I need to pay more attention to this global warming talk...or at least look at the liner notes. The Sealevel is the current band of Hans Forster who was also in the Seaside Stars. Okay, that explains the jangly guitars and the upbeat vibe of the songs. It also explains why I hadn't seen any news of a follow up album from the Seaside Stars. Hans is joined by Berni Mayer, Dirk Schwindenhammer (Bass) and Markus Kreisel (Drums). Together the four of them have created an album that at many times does sound like a follow up to the Seaside Stars' 'The Magic of Stereo.' The opener, 'Beach from Last Summer', is the Beach Boys track of the album and at that it's probably my least favorite song. The do-ron-rons, harmonizing vocals and beach/surf theme combo have never really worked for my Northern Californian ears. Fortunately 'High and Magic' is the next track and this one does the jangly guitar pop thing just how my ears like it. The harmonizing vocals are more subtle on the rest of the album and the do-ron-rons turn into the much more enjoyable ba-bah-bahs and ooh-oohs. The beach even becomes less of a Frankie and Annette beach party and more of a calm, relaxing, let's watch the sunset and have a campfire type of affair. Something odd does happen in the middle of the album though with the sombre and dark 'Fan' really bringing things down. This is followed by the more upbeat but still not quite positive sounding 'Our Way to Rome', 'My Mistakes', and 'Spinnin' Out'. The grimmer, less clean, but still jangly guitar tone of these songs is what makes them feel less positive and lyrically they seem darker/more serious too. 'It's On' quickly picks things back up again and has everyone feeling happy - at least for 2 minutes. The closer,'That Bad', is a more stripped down feeling song with acoustic guitar and softer vocals that slowly builds in an almost Bedhead like manner. This debut album by the Sealevel seems to have a bit of a split personality with the first half being the upbeat, sunny days, beach boy and the second half being the more reflective, beach at sunset, man. That said, each half is quite solid and the mood of the moment may determine which songs work best. At the risk of sounding silly, the Sealevel bring us a day at the beach, high tide and low tide. Okay, that does sound silly.

Track Listing:-
1 Beach From Last Summer
2 High And Magic
3 Drank The Summer
4 Lingering On
5 The Way With You
6 Moon Changes
7 Fan
8 My Mistakes
9 Our Way To Rome
10 Spinning Out
11 It's On
12 That Bad

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