If, perhaps the blurred photo and serif font on the cover didn’t send your shoegaze-sense a-tingling, it’s fair to say San Francisco’s Seablite are doused in the fuzzy familiars of the genre, though they’re splicing it with just the right amount of jangle to make yer heart flutter. Occasionally they attempt to balance the poles of their sound but, more often than not, they get tangled up. They send the buoyant bounce of sunshine strum crashing headlong into the seafoam crush of fuzz that creeps through the wires with a giddying rush. They pick at the faded memory of schoolbook stickers – tracing hearts over the sighs of The Softies and the headrush haze of Pale Saints. They frame their soft-focus stories in shade of bittersweet swoon that’s half infatuation, half gut-punch heartwrench.
While I’m probably a touch biased, I find the band succeeds most when they’re leaning towards the janglier material. I’m all for Shoegaze’s wallow, but drop a song too far into the fuzzcut k-hole and I start to drift off. When they kick a just a twinge of Talulah Gosh into the mix I feel like they hit the sweet spot – chasing the shimmer on tracks “Lollipop Crush,” “Pillbox,” and “House of Papercuts.” Its always nice to see that there are a few bands still raised and rendered on Creation and early 4AD. The DNA of these songs certainly hangs in the air like a specter, but the band pulls off the moves like more than just an homage blown to full size. They imbue Grass Stains & Novocaine with an airy ache that lingers long after the last note dissipates into the atmosphere.
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