When Seahaven announced the title for their most recent LP, I rolled my eyes, thinking it was both cheesy and unnecessarily long. However, upon listening, Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only is a pretty accurate description of California band’s latest release. Taking a step back for the punchy lyrics and heavy lines heard in Winter Forever and the quick tempos of Ghost, this album takes a different turn, focusing on ambient instrumentals with Kyle Soto’s droning and longing vocals.
The album opens with “Fifty-Four,” a slow yet dreamy introduction that is the first indication that this album will be vastly different than the first two releases. “Andreas” gives a little more dimension and is a definite highlight of the album. Extremely light instrumentals and the catchy lyrics make this extremely thoughtful song an early favorite as the heaviness of the content contrast the airiness in sound. “Silhouette (Latin Skin)” follows suite with “Andreas,” yet builds into a bigger ending, blending of the two songs. Listen to these two in order to get the full growth represented in these tracks.
For those looking for something reminiscent of Winter Forever, “Flesh” kicks the tempo up and wakes you up from the ethereal sound the front half of this album incites. The opening verse features somewhat uneasy, haunting guitars and short, cutting vocals before breaking into Seahaven’s familiar form of fluid yet loud vocals and dominant guitar riffs, which serves as the album’s peak.
Perhaps the most emotion-provoking tracks on the album, “Love to Burn” combines a hushed sound and violins with Soto’s heartbroken lyrics to make it a shot in the heart. With the spacey reverb and the emphasis of the bass drum, it’s innovative simplicity is almost reminiscent of The Boxer Rebellion. Although nearly all the tracks on the album share core characteristics, this one seems to get it all completely right.
While those are the stand-out tracks on Reverie Lagoon: Music for Escapism Only, the others seem to blend together, lacking any sort of punch. For what Seahaven gained in cohesion and fluidity, they lost in impact. This is not to say there aren’t some great tracks on here, but it just doesn’t have the same lasting feel Ghost or Winter Forever had. Some tracks dominate and the rest seems like filler, leaving the listener bored. With that being said, Seahaven is still experimenting with their sound and trying to find their niche. While they might not have gotten it exactly right, the killer tracks featured on this album shed light on the potential the band is still trying to unlock.