Washington D.C.’s The Sea Life took the stage first at Brooklyn Bazaar with a raucous set that took from a smattering of indie influences like psyche pop, dream pop, and at times even math rock. Guitarist, singer, and main songwriter Jon Weiss stabbed out into the ether of echoes with vocals that seem handed down by Johnny Bell from the Crystal Antlers.
Pained, but with enough melodic gusto to rise above screaming, Weiss’s vocals bounced off the equally-as-melodic bass playing from Jordon Sanders, and the solid but schizoid drumming from Ryan Witt. Adding layers and occasional backing vocals is second guitarist Payton Brown, whose influence is integral to their shoegaze-y wall of sound.
The Sea Life grew up together. All four members met in middle school, forming the band in 2008 while all were still in high school. According to Weiss, the band’s sound has grown and matured since 2013, a little after their first LP, In Basements, was made. Listening to In Basements, it sounds like it’s a different band than The Sea Life I saw on Friday night.
The Sea Life on Friday night was tight, and more in control of their sound than anything on In Basements, and in listening to their E.P. Transitions and their latest single “Prozac and Merlot” (of which a lot of the show took from), it’s clear that this band is on their way to a mature and refined sound for their next LP, which should be out in May.
“Prozac and Merlot,” one of the highlights from the night, is a “sarcastic stab at some friends with bad habits.” The song starts quietly with strummed guitar from Weiss, but kicks in with echoed guitars and characteristically nimble drum work from Witt. It’s dynamic, somewhat funky, and shows a band with a lot of potential. Check out D.C.’s The Sea Life if you get the chance.
Article by: Steven Klett
Photos by: Shayne Hanley