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  How To Live  
  Loaf Recordings  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Sometimes you just know within a few minutes of an album starting that youíre going to like it, and How To Live is such a thing. OK, it helps when you thought their last one was the album of the year in 2009, but the intro to Black Dot White Spider is excellent in a Warm Leatherette kinda way before the whole thing veers off in a more Motorik direction. Itís a cracking track, and one that is due to be released as a single later this month with some rather interesting mixes included.

As with their last album, Tomorrow Today, thereís some great pop sensibility here as Seeland certainly know how to come up with a good tune. Interestingly, there's definitely an early 80s pop influence here, reminding me of the Teardrop Explodes in a number of places. Circles might open with an almost New Years Day-like intro and have something of a Bunnymen feel. but thereís definitely Julian Cope-like vocals on this one whilst Recall wouldnít sound out of place on Wilder (and as that is one of my all-time favourite albums, thatís no mean compliment). Afterthought is another highlight being a jaunty number with a pretty fab tune that wouldnít have sounded out of place on Copeís solo debut album, World Shut Your Mouth, although the electronic sounds and arrangements are obviously somewhat different to what St Julian used at that stage of his career. Itís a great track.

Elsewhere, Local Park is perhaps the most poppy thing here sounding like a Motown track played by some early 80s synth act, whilst Armour shows more surprising influences featuring a Nuggets or Paint It Black type intro, an early Tears For Fears-like verse before things start sounding almost proggy on the chorus. Cardinal, meanwhile, is simply delicious as they sing "when the morning comes" over a tasty synth backdrop.

I should point out that, for all these references, the vocals, harmonies and arrangements sound like Seeland. Even at this relatively early stage of their career, they really do have their own sound with Awake In A Dream and the title track probably sounding most like the material on their debut album. Interestingly, although I might prefer the last album to this after early plays, neither of those tracks are amongst my favourites here. Make of that what you will, but How To Live is still a very, very good album.

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Also on EvilSponge:
   7": Library b/w Call the Incredible
   Album: Tomorrow Today
   Single: Goodbye
   Appearance as Remixer: A Flower White EP by Susumo Yokota


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