Since arriving on the national scene in
2007 with a string of quietly accomplished singles, Newcastle outfit
Seabellies have busied themselves by steadily honing their
once-chaotic live shows and perfecting their songwriting chops. And
if this eminently tuneful debut LP is anything to go by, these days
the band runs a pretty tight ship.
Helmed by producer Wayne Connolly (The
Vines, Youth Group), By Limbo Lake boasts diverse
instrumentation and is buoyed by numerous moments of shimmering,
ephemeral beauty. Frontman Trent Grenell has a strong ear for
melody, and his compositions are deftly augmented by a lilting
lyricism and inventive string arrangements.
The album is also book-ended by what
are possibly its two strongest moments: the Band of Horses-esque
introduction ‘Ices’ and resplendent, near-perfect closer ‘Smokestar,’
which also provides the most sublime poetry of the band’s career:
‘All we dreamt of last night was waking/our bellies full of smoke
It’s an enchanting and deeply
passionate opening gambit from this talented six-piece, and a
harbinger of brilliant things to come.