Seafood - Paper Crown King

2006 marks Seafood’s 10th year as a band, and what better way to celebrate than to release your 5th studio album (4th if you don’t include mini-album Messenger in the camp, mind). Well, not just to release an album, but to release a cracking album.

Paper Crown King harks back to those heady days of yore a lá Surviving the Quiet and Messenger in the Camp. These years are of course the years proceeding lead singer David Line’s terrible lung problems which almost stopped the band in its tracks (because what’s a band without its lead singers lungs?) few years back, and caused the As the cry flows tour to be cancelled mid-way through. Thankfully, all this is behind them now, as Line puts it, “In the end doctors had to superglue my lung into my chest. I’m a walking miracle.”

The whole album oozes quality, despite being recorded on a 16 track. Possibly this was to do with the great help of producer Eli Janney, who had done some work for Seafood before, and whom they love. Thusly the overall sound of the album is stunning and the mixing which on the pre-release demos seemed out of place is spot on too.

The review copy has been in my possession for a number of weeks now, and while I originally intened to review it as soon as possible, I thought I’d wait a while, listen to it throughly first and then cast an opinion many listens down the track. I’m glad I did in retrospect, because unlike their last album, As the Cry Flows, Paper Crown King doesn’t wash over you after repeated listenings, you just feel it getting better and better.

As for the tracks on the album, there is no real low point (except, if I were to be picky Last Outpost having its intro cut out for the album version) on the entire record, but with ‘Between the Noise’ being a particularly stunning track, if theres any justice it’ll go down as being a live favourite on the upcoming tour, if not a single release.
The final track on the album is something a little different, and perhaps a taste of the future, as it was written by drummer Caroline Banks, who is soon to be releasing a solo CD. The haunting nature of How you gonna live without me? will stay locked in your head for quite a while, and I myself have been caught whistling the riff to myself at times. It also has some welcome saxaphones in it, a little used instrument in the genre of rock.

Paper Crown King is Seafood’s best work to date and a welcome return to form. I rarely give a LP full marks, but in this case it's well deserved because there are no obvious faults in it, despite repeated listenings.
I don’t think I’m alone in hoping that this’ll be the 5th of many albums in the future.

The album is available for a bargain £8.99 from our affiliates CD-Wow to the right hand link.



out of 10

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