The Eastern Sea

The Eastern Sea

Texas Platters

The Eastern Sea

Plague (WhiteLabBlackLab)

With its previous two EPs, Austin's Eastern Sea swelled upon finely textured and intricate arrangements. While the band's long delayed full-length retains that complexity, Plague bursts with more power and, somehow, even more tightly wound and layered movements. Sea centerpiece Matt Hines navigates the density with his own compressed lyrical narratives that roll like an intellectualized travelogue. The opening title track builds with a melody evocative of Don McLean's "Vincent," but the album bends most closely toward Death Cab for Cutie behind "Wasn't for Love," "Santa Rosa," and "A Lie." The album's core of "America" and "Say Yes" breaks the lyrical intensity for aural atmospherics, Hines' introspection rising and falling against the winding rhythms of "China Untitled, 1," heavy percussion of "The Match," and beautifully unfolded "There You Are." Overly compacted at points ("Central Cemetery"), Plague intends, and demands, to be consumed whole.

***

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