Seasurfer: Dive In
Saint Marie Records

Seasurfer's dreampunk sound—picture the melodic ecstasy of dreampop laced with the intensity of shoegaze and the raw, feral energy of punk—is memorably captured on its debut collection Dive In, a fifty-minute, ten-song set performed by singer Dorian E., guitarist Dirk (founder of dreampop outfit Dark Orange), bassist Mikel Seasurfer, and an unidentified drummer. Apparently Saint Marie Record boss Wyatt Parkins signed the group immediately upon hearing its demos, and after listening to the final product it's easy to understand why.

At the center of Seasurfer's storm is Berliner Dorian E. who, on representative songs such as “We Run” and “Hide,” emotes hauntingly in a way that recalls Siouxsie Sioux. That Dorian E.'s dramatic delivery manages to cut through the glorious thunder generated by Dirk and the others is a wonder in itself. In time-honoured fashion, the group tends to obscure the melancholy strain in its songwriting by clothing it in the amphetamine rush of a wall-of-sound attack. But even the most anthemic delivery can't conceal the melodic richness of a typical Seasurfer song, and when the group chooses to dial it down a notch (e.g., “Dragon Song,” “Winterblume”), it becomes all the easier to gauge the pop sensibility in play. Don't leave before it's over either, as doing so would mean missing the album's most open-hearted cut, “Fireworks,” a seven-minute opus that takes the album out on a stirring wave of emotion (“I die for you…”).

Listening to the album thus offers multiple pleasures: one can either attend to a given song's pop hooks or simply bask in the band's collective sound (apparently Karl Skivington from the Nottingham shoegaze outfit Spotlight Kid had a hand in fashioning the album's sound). Of the options presented, Dive In would seem to be about the best possible choice.

August-September 2014