‘Seahorse’ is a term used to refer to approximately 54 species of marine fish of the genus Hippocampus. They are found in both tropical and temperate areas throughout the world, from the long-snouted seahorse of the Mediterranean to the dwarf seahorse of the (Fecking) Bahamas. Apart from their terrible swimming ability and bizarre appearance, perhaps the strangest thing about a seahorse is it’s reproductive cycle, in which the female transfers fertilized eggs to the male and he carries them until hatching, at which point he fires them into the ocean. During the 2-4 week gestation period, females will typically come to visit the male to perform a mini-courting ritual for approximately 5 minutes every morning.
Given this unnecessarily complex and involved mating arrangement, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that Seahorse Divorces are exceptionally messy processes, what with alimony and visitation rights and the 1522 children to argue over. However, I must be admit that in recent days, examining the ins and outs of this fascinating legal niche have been far superseded by listening to Brisbane’s Seahorse Divorce on my list of things I would rather do.
Fluttering across the seabed somewhere on the line between post-hardcore, emo and math, Seahorse Divorce’s latest release, Public Transport Fantasy Sequence, is a wending, winding journey through twinkling riffs and soaring vocal lines. Tapping and tight riffing alike knit together to form a collage of extended chords and ambiguous tonality. If you’re the kind of person interested in lyrics and their interpretation, you’re going to have a good time with this one – they’re cryptic and at times arcane, but still connect emotionally.
The vocals are technically fantastic, and the complex lines draw the listener through each song. The instrumentation does a fantastic job of framing his vocals. Seahorse Divorce are also another band on my list of groups who manage to write absolutely listenable music in the most bizarre time signatures and keys, and I think vocals are in great part to thank for that.
If you liked Seahorse Divorce’s first full length, Public Transport Fantasy Sequence only builds on their prior work, and I highly recommend you check them out if you’re a fan of math with vocals or the jazzier side of math rock.