Sea of Storms "Dead Weight" LPTOR Johnson
These songs won’t ever be on the radio, but they could’ve been.
Growing up in the ‘90s, you wouldn’t have heard any of the songs from Sea of Storms’s debut LP, Dead Weight, on the radio because they hadn’t been written yet. However, if the Richmond, VA power trio had released them roughly 20 years ago, you would’ve had a chance. Growing up in a post-Nevermind era throughout different Virginian cities, the members of Sea of Storms were gripping 7”s from Richmond bands when they could and ripping off a variety of sub-genres that blended together at the time in their high school bands. When the 3/5 of the post-hardcore outfit Mouthbreather formed Sea of Storms in 2012, they brought together a varied archive of influences from Jimmy Eat World to 400 Years to Coheed and Cambria.
However, Dead Weight sounds nothing like these bands. What 'Dead Weight' does sounds like is a rock record from a time when Danzig and Smashing Pumpkins were considered fresh, filtered through the distilled punk essence of late-1990s angsty indie rockers such as The Get Up Kids and Blank. Having played together for six years, Sea of Storms’ dynamics are impressive. From bassist John Martin’s rolling bass lines to drummer Chris Brown’s propulsive, metered beats, Sea of Storms has found their groove.
Singer/guitarist Brandon Peck makes an excellent front man, creatively filling in space with feedback, riffs and vocals. Take, for example, the hazy rock tracks such as “Weak Ones” and “Crimson Tide”. Dramatic moments ebb and flow with a series of guitar and vocal interplay as the rhythm section holds down the fort, calling to mind Walter Screifels’ projects or a more aggressive, spaced out Hot Rod Circuit. The greatest strengths on Dead Weight are the songs themselves.
Sea of Storms are able to craft well-written emotionally-tinged rock anthems without veering into the embarrassing “emo” territory (because that word meant something completely different when they first heard it). Stand out tracks in this vein include “Snake Oil” and album closer “Cedar Run”. While nodding to the past, Sea of Storms looks towards the future, looking to expand on their musical roots how they can. If you’re a fan of big guitars and songs that make you want to drive along open roads with the windows down, Dead Weight is the record you’ve been waiting for.
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