There was a time, maybe early 2000s, when any sounds spilling from Jax Beach bars and music venues heard above a consistent roar of slurring blackout shouts tended to be of the skanking guitars and tight-but-loose riddims variety. Much has changed at Jacksonville’s east end, though. Few music venues remain. And though you’re still likely to hear drunken yelps and the entirety of 40 Oz. To Freedom played at top volume, if you listen closely the beach sounds much different. The youth, it seems, have picked up guitars to strum a different tune.
LoFi garage-y groups like Faze Wave and the indie-pop quintet Hensley have joined the ranks of notable and productive beach-based bands alongside the Jax-rock-scene OG’s that make up acts like Darkhorse Saloon, Mercy Mercy, and 9E. And a second single from indie rock quartet Seagate proves the beach kids of Jax are alright. Though the group’s name may reference a Neptune Beach thoroughfare, Seagate’s sound could easily have emanated from Manchester, UK circa 1982. Propelled by lush sonic layers and frontman Sam Baglino’s brooding vocals and vibrato-heavy rhythm guitar, “Dog Days” calls to mind The Smiths mid-80s opus The Queen is Dead.
With Johnny Nail on drums, Connor Winter on bass, and Mack Tolbert on lead guitar, the tune announces Seagate as an important addition to the new wave sweeping the city’s underground rock scene, a band–although young in years–brimming with not only the kind of taste, but ability to distinguish themselves from their peers.
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