Alex Brown Church’s Sea Wolf has been tiptoeing along the line of mediocrity for a handful of years, and while the band’s new record, “White Water, White Bloom” (Dangerbird) is the best work it’s offered so far, the indie-rock blandness still proves oppressive. Sure, the songs are pleasant enough, as Church’s mid-tempo creations feature agreeable string arrangements and some nice vocal harmonies. (Some of this is even reminiscent of Elliott Smith’s full-band work.) But after the first few tracks your mind wanders so much you don’t even pay attention to the alt-country bits of the record, and by the time it’s all over, you’re not sure you listened to anything at all. And that’s more depressing than any of Church’s somber acoustic entries. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I imagine Sea Wolf as an Okkervil River devoid of invention—if it’s your sort of thing, have it, but my patience for this stuff has all but disappeared. (Tom Lynch)
October 1 at Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, (773)525-2508, at 9pm. $12-$14.