• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Apr 6, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 90
    They’re the most unique band since The Van Pelt or At The Drive-In, with vocals comparable to the lyrical finesse of Tim Booth.
  2. They don't always sound consistent on this debut, occasionally misfiring with underworked material, but overall the strengths overshadow any weaknesses, and when they truly hit their stride they're devastatingly effective.
  3. Uncut
    [A] promising, flawed debut. [Apr 2004, p.110]
  4. Alternative Press
    String arrangements--plus frontman Dan Eastop's expressive vocals--save songs like "SF" from falling into rehash hell. [Jul 2004, p.146]
  5. As ordered as it is wild, as gorgeous as it is gruesome, Lay of the Land is indeed a ballsy record.
  6. The band's energy, intensity, and dynamism, as well as a collection of distinct songs, still do not prevent the record from sounding subdued and monochromatic.
  7. Blender
    Seachange wrap their songs in the glorious dissonance of Sonic Youth and the mighty alt-rock-meets-R&B rhythms of the Afghan Wigs, but underneath it all, they just want to creep you out. [May 2004, p.131]
  8. Whether or not the album really captures the bands reputable live show is utterly debatable, but it’s certainly one to inspire the imagination.
  9. At times, the intense-yet-underdeveloped feel of Lay of the Land makes it a claustrophobic experience, but its quieter moments, such as "No Questions" and the angular finale "Fog," still throw off sparks while allowing a little more breathing room.
  10. The resulting clash can be momentarily compelling, but lacks the nuance and character and to really pull it off, which all leaves Seachange huddled on the cusp of something significantly worthwhile, but still a few wild, miscreant swings away.
  11. The band plays a raucous, shifting rock heavy on drama, but light on reasons to keep listening.
  12. It’s plenty theatrical, and tries to be upsetting at some points and rustic at others. It’s hard to get too worked up either way, however, especially when the sound turns fuzzy at all the key moments.
  13. Q Magazine
    A real disappointment. [Apr 2004, p.118]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. BrianM
    May 2, 2004
    An interesting album to say the least. There are some strong tracks on here and some duds. But the overall feel is energetic.
  2. paulj
    Apr 6, 2004
    a few dry spots where all elements do not quite gel, but the high points are well worth a listen.