The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Austin Powell, March 12, 2010, Music

Seaholm Electric

Before I Disappoint You Again (Calgary)

The Able Sea

The Able Sea II

Much like the retired Austin power plant that's become a hub for afterparties, Seaholm Electric proves that everything old can be repurposed. Basically an extension of local shoegaze outfit the Swells, the local quintet is New Order to the latter's Joy Division, a distinction not lost in the menacing delivery of vocalist/guitarist David Malerba. Built on New Romantic synths over reverb, debut EP Before I Disappoint You Again chases shadows on par with I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness, notably in the gothic attack of "A Million Points of Light" and moody throb of "Frame That." The second self-titled album from the Able Sea, on the other hand, mirrors the band's 2008 debut in almost every way. Part II once more navigates through the more aqueous realms of the Flaming Lips and the psychedelic tinkering of the Pretty Things ("In the Mind Of," "Shoreline"), with sedated organ grooves and Alex Thompson's ambient melodies. Highlights include the woozy clockwork of "All the Time You Need" and the McCartney-basslined "No Reason," The Able Sea II is still painting with textures and tones, beautifully bleeding together without any sort of concrete image developing in the forefront.

(Seaholm Electric) ***.5

(The Able Sea) **.5

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