In the song "Marks," Seneca offers up the line, "Grow slowly as time goes on." I hope that this Ireland-based indie-pop foursome heeds their own advice. Given their enthusiastic fan base, it's clear they've got what it takes to be popular: anthemic tunes, raw musical talent, no shortage of angsty lyrics and a knockout lead vocalist who sounds like Chris Martin meets James Russell Mercer meets Eddie Vedder. But it's also clear that Seneca has yet to discover what it is that makes them different from a dozen other bands—particularly Snow Patrol, with whom they are often compared.
Considering their acclaim in the United Kingdom, the alluring title of this debut and their vaguely post-apocalyptic album art, I was expecting 13 stellar tunes. And on a technical level, they are: The album is flawlessly executed, well produced and entirely radio-ready. The song "Clarity" is a bluesy gem, straight-ahead rock overlaid with sultry violin. The title track is an acoustic ballad, perfect for a movie score. But still, something's lacking. Personality, perhaps?
Given the musical toolkit at their disposal and their extant success, Seneca is primed for fame—as soon as they figure out who, exactly, they are. (Melissa Mylchreest)
Seneca plays Sean Kelly's Thursday, June 25, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.