We seem to be getting a steady influx of Australian artists. No complaints here. Found At Sea is a Sydney-based quintet that's been playing bummer alternative rock since 2005. On their most recent release, the band shows their maturity over the course of five harmony-focused songs.
Everyone Was Swimming opens up with Tim Linnegar's powerful drumming preceding lush guitar work. The guitar is a staple on the album and along with clever keyboarding, makes up the nucleus of most of the songs. Ryan Linnegar's confident throaty singing calls to mind the tortured male vocalists of this century's heavy pop music. Linnegar's voice is a good fit for the music, which is often heavy and pressurized with despondency, and he manages to rescue the more personal lyrics from melodrama like "We'll make the world shrink to a living room." The band also goes for the soft sell in the last two songs. "Off His Feet,” for example, is a plodding stroll through lonely streets of steady drumming and gently but spirited guitars.
A bit over 20 minutes long, “The Coloured Heart” does a good job in determining the tension created by the track's length. For this style of music - bitter emo ballads with flavors of hard rock and acoustic pop - this is important for leading listeners in but not suffocating them with feeling. For the most part this works, but it does backfire. "Off His Feet" is more than six minutes long but feels played out by the end, whereas "Summer Crept In,” a sun-going-down acoustic number that features Linnegar at his most gentle, feels like it fades too quickly. There are moments when I wish the band didn't take itself too seriously, for this is the work of serious musicians who craft their music too tightly. And yet, tight rhythm and frustrated guitar work make for a good, easy listen.
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