By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
The young brats in Sealion certainly have a good thing going at the moment. On the one hand, they've a solid buzz surrounding their live show on the chit-chat circuit. On the other hand, an even bigger batch of good news — a devoted early fan base, one that filled up Bryan Street Tavern just the other weekend with people pogo-ing to the band's music and singing along to their every lyric en masse.
Good thing, then, that the album the band released at that Bryan Street show is worth the to-do.
Produced by Salim Nourallah, this seemingly brash and hurried eight-track introductory effort is actually well more thought-out than first assumed. Bare bones, it's the spastic nature of Tapes 'n Tapes with a hint of Vampire Weekend pretense and maybe a dash of Julian Casablancas jumbled together and filtered through the popular beach punk of the day. But it's more than that — and more than a cohesive collection of snotty song titles ("Steampunk Jetpack," "Dick Dale Earnhardt," "This Bandana Is A Time Machine"), although those elicit a chuckle here and there. Keep The Camera Rolling is, perhaps as its title suggests, a clever melange of influences coupled with a side-eyed perspective on youth culture.
Over the course of just under 23 minutes, frontman Hunter Moehring and two-thirds of his former Hats & Statues outfit sneer, snarl and bop, repeatedly mocking the tool-cool-for-school set so eager to dress in name brands, move away and earn attention. For now, this talented collective seems content to swim against that grain, to stand pat and to happily combine its influences into something fresh.