See Gulls You Can’t See Me EP
(Potluck Foundation – July 14, 2015)
Review by Robert Leonard
Six weeks have passed since embarking on summer mischief and parents dreading the day they arrive to a destroyed home. That’s about the same time sibling tensions seep in – your brother sleeps too late, he hates the way you chew, he hogs the hell out of the tv, and the chores never get done before your parents come home – of course, leaving only you to blame because “you know better” and “your brother is lazy.” Naturally the continuous head turning irritates you and leads to subtle antagonization as you embrace the growing dissent. You never go overboard and it’s always in jest… sort of… well.. let’s be honest…. you mean every single bit of it when you intentionally hide the remote from your obnoxious older brother or start to chew even louder than before – this line between playful aggression and full on barrage is where See Gulls attempt to get their point across on You Can’t See Me.
Attempt is used loosely in current context, as you’ll hear. You Can’t See Me does exactly what intends, allowing a proper channel for previously silenced or misunderstood feelings to be communicated. Part commiseration, part self pity – the anguishes of love and the rejection felt from intimacy’s decline sets the mode for which very important content matter can be expressed above a slightly playful but insistent soundscape. The albums opener and title track, “You Can’t See Me” is entertainingly eerie with it’s ska-ish groove and frequent vocal squealing and squeaks, “Your Car is Idle in the Cold, Don’t Mind Me Standing in the Road,” Sarah Fuller’s vocal is a reminder that she’s tucked away in thought but will never actually be a part of your life “Clicking, Clacking, You’re All Alone.”
Tracks “Don’t Write Me Love Songs” and “Long Gone” are more deliberate in approach – it’s super apparent that See Gulls do not want any love songs written about them, maybe because it’s pretty creepy, maybe because of the since of commitment it entails – either way “Don’t Write Me..” is the most ample track on the album with robust production and driving drums. “Long Gone” is a crooning 1950’s-esque loss-of-love song – here the antagonist is a cheating scumbag, it’s only one side of the story but we’ve all heard it before, leaving our protagonist feeling cheap, undeserving, and in a longing state, “I saw you in the produce you were squeezing the tomatoes, I caught your eye across the strawberries, and I was like Fuck You.”
Upbeat and well written – You Can’t See Me provides a poignant soundtrack to a night spent alone, although nobody would blame you if you invited a few friends!