Seafog_2017Lost at sea in an oceanic fog somewhere north of Dunedin city centre is Port Chalmers’ trio Seafog. After an enthralling, spindly debut album of spiderweb guitar-pop called “Raise Your Skinny Fist” (2015), Seafog delivered a more solid treat on their “Dig it On Up” EP (2017). Now they are back with an audacious double album of blistering reverb-washed jangling guitar noise. Here’s the relatively calm and restrained “Voice” to ease your way into Seafog’s universe.

Seafog’s twin guitar din is massive on “Animal Lovers”. The bass-less trio – Robin Sharma (vocals & guitar), Nigel Waters (guitar) and Marty Sadler (drums) – gets a sonic turbo-charge from another sparkling, resonating echo-chamber production from recording alchemist Forbes Williams (who also recorded recent Dunedin albums by Francisca Griffith and Negative Nancies). The band sound like they are emitting sonic sparks here – a Roman Candle of noise.

There’s a lot to digest on “Animal Lovers” – 16 dense and meaty songs, including a booming revisiting of “Purakaunui” from guitarist/ vocalist Robin Sharma’s previous late 1990s/ early 2000’s band Jetty.

Sharma’s idiosyncratic vocal delivery – including his distinctive stream-of-semi-concious-delerium-fuelled excursions – give the songs personality, even if it sometimes sounds like he’s possessed by forces beyond his control.

“Animal Lovers” is a perfect combination of raw and distressed Sonic Youth-styled wall-of-guitar noise frenzy (showcased on the relentless thundering 12-minute drone-jam “Feelings”) often set to pulsing motorik drumming, and the loose jangling lo-fi charm of bands like The Verlaines and The Clean in their earliest forms (as the more restrained and crisp “Voice” here demonstrates).

“Animal Lovers” is available on vinyl. It’s available now in Relics record store in Dunedin, or from the band. It may be in other NZ shops sometimes. The LP release is on Vienna-based NZ-focused label Zelle Records so if you are in the Northern Hemisphere head there to buy a copy of the LP. It is an essential acquisition.

 

Advertisements