Spun: Sea Wolf

By Richard Lam

From the opening organ and strings of “Wicked Blood,” it’s easy to see Sea Wolf’s influences. The emotional rock songs on White Water, White Bloom, their sophomore album, are immediately reminiscent of Arcade Fire and Modest Mouse. Lead singer Alex Brown Church’s vocals even sound like a slightly sadder, deep-voiced Win Butler. As such, the piano blinks and chugging guitar lines are immediately familiar to most indie rock fans on first listen.

“Orion & Dog” is one of the more stripped-down numbers, driven by acoustic guitar and accentuated by lightly plucked strings where boisterous rocker “O Maria!” is the exact opposite.”The Traitor” is the emotional peak of the album, a bright, soaring number with steady percussion and sweeping, widescreen orchestration.

Lyrically, Sea Wolf tends towards excess. The aforementioned “O Maria!” boasts such purple prose as “wicked spider,” “wooden bones,” “silver hair” and a “crystal heart.” With a tacked-on adjective for nearly every noun, it makes for awkward and convoluted songwriting.

Compared to the polished music and the group’s interplay, the lyrics are the weakest and least mature aspect of the band. Still, Sea Wolf is worth keeping an eye on, as they continue refining their sound and their style.