Seeland Tomorrow Today

[Loaf; 2009]

Styles: synth-pop, soft rock
Others: Stereolab, Broadcast, Plone

Christening your band after a Neu! track sets the bar pretty high. Presumably named after Neu! 75’s “Seeland,” this group of ex-Broadcast and Plone members has an affinity for the sounds and instruments of a bygone golden age of German pop music. Those expecting an album of revivalist Krautrock, however, will be disappointed. Instead of crafting pulsing, perpetually moving epics that nearly span album sides, the band trades in concise three- to four-minute pop songs.

The record begins with the propulsive “Burning Pages,” one of its strongest offerings. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the band’s sound: vintage analog synthesizers, live and electronic drums, clean guitar leads, and subdued vocals. While the formula remains the same throughout the record, the group never settles into a rut. “Colour Dream” evokes the halcyon feeling of music from the original Animal Crossing, and “Static Object” comes close to Krautrock with its unrelenting mechanical beat and pulsating bass line.

Although Tomorrow Today is a nice set of 12 brief pop songs that is well-paced and doesn’t overstay its welcome, it’s lacking in vivacity and truly remarkable songs. I have difficulty recalling individual tracks or moments that truly stand out, despite having listened to the album endlessly. Nothing here is offensive in the least; the record is innocuous. By the end of the woozy “Pretty Bird,” the listener will likely be in a somnolent, tranquil state. Tomorrow Today sees Seeland headed in the right direction with solid, well-constructed songs, but the group should consider shaking themselves out of their languid state before releasing another album.

1. Burning Pages
2. Hang On Lucifer
3. Colour Dream
4. Turnaround
5. Captured
6. Library
7. Goodbye
8. Static Object
9. Station Sky
10. Call The Incredible
11. 5 A.M

12. Pretty Bird

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