Release Date: Nov 22, 2011
Record label: Slumberland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop
By the time of the release of their 2011 album, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask, the indie pop community was eagerly awaiting the Sea Lions' official debut and it’s easy to see why. How could they not be stoked about a band whose influences were Sarah Records, the Television Personalities, Beat Happening, early Slumberland bands, Love, and Orange Juice? How could they ignore the stream of excellent songs, singles, and tapes the band unleashed in the years previous? How could they not be instantly charmed by vocalist Adrian Pillado’s deep and artless vocals that makes him sound like Calvin Johnson's young, and ultra melancholy, cousin? The short answer is that it was pretty much impossible not to be eager to the point of maniacal. The Sea Lions, in concept and in reality, are like indie pop catnip and Everything You Always Wanted to Know is like a 50-lb.
Out of all the post-millennial bands that have largely benefited from the C86 tape's renewed interest, Sea Lions are one of the few who actually sound like they were pulled directly from the compilation rather than a band adopting a vogue influence. The treble-heavy production is parallel to that of first-wave twee-punk. The guitars go way past indie pop's minimum quota for jangle.
To say Oxnard, California’s Sea Lions know the value of brevity would be an understatement. Their debut album contains 15 songs in just over 29 minutes, and not a single track tops the three-minute mark. Singer/songwriter Adrian Pillado has filled this record with easygoing classic pop songs that wouldn’t feel out of place on a compilation of forgotten pop/rock bands of the ‘60s.
There’s something to be said for simple, short, and sweet indie pop songs. In a year when Bon Iver went ’80s easy listening on us with “Beth/Rest” and R&B was the en vogue music styling, simple pop songs tend to get lost. Oxnard, California’s Sea Lions make it their mission on their debut, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask, to bring that simplicity back to the forefront.