Archive for November, 2013

Album of the Day: Mystery Ship – EP II

Posted on Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from The Obelisk: Presented across two vinyl sides released by Knick Knack Records, the aptly-titled EP II from Seattle foursome Mystery Ship revels in a swath of classic heavy rock and blues influences.

One might also see them as taking cues from the European retro-minded jetset, acts like Graveyard and Kadavar, but as they display in the smoothly executed jam / build on the closing ‘Wild Eyes’, they have a sensibility of their own to work within, and a recording job from Jack Endino results in a sound that’s wholly natural, but not reaching for any kind of heavy ’70s lo-fi analog-ism.

Mystery Ship - EP II

Nothing against that approach or for it, it’s just now what Mystery Ship do on EP II. Rather, guitarist / vocalist Michael Wohl, bassist  / vocalist Alex Hagenah, guitarist Josh Kupferschmid and drummer Travis Curry take classic swing — and in this, the work of the rhythm section particularly is not to be understated — and couple it with an easy, engaging laid back flow that lasts throughout EP II‘s 18 minutes, giving an increasing view of complexity at work leading up to the culmination of ‘Wild Eyes’.

‘Better Off’, ‘Paleodaze’, ‘Man about Town’ and ‘Wild Eyes’ each arrive as longer than the last, and the effect that has is that Mystery Ship increasingly draw the listener into the progression.

The release isn’t really long enough to give a full-album flow, but given how one song moves to the next, whether it’s the quick one-two of ‘Better Off’ into ‘Paleodaze’ or the more languid shift between ‘Paleodaze’ into ‘Man about Town’ — never mind the side switch that brings ‘Wild Eyes’ into the mix — there’s enough overarching groove on EP II to reinforce the idea that Mystery Ship will have no trouble crafting that full-album flow when they get there.

The overall course of EP II is somewhat less epic than the Adam Burke cover art might lead one to believe — even ‘Wild Eyes’, which tops seven minutes, does so without relinquishing its modest, organic vibe — though the cover remains appropriate for the classic atmosphere Mystery Ship proffer. As was the case with the classic rockers from whom they’re taking influence — and with the modern, mostly-European retro bands working under similar influence, for that matter — there’s a lot of blues in Mystery Ship‘s aesthetic.

Continue reading THE OBELISK – REVIEW: Mystery Ship, EP II
(Courtesy of JJ Koczan / The Obelisk)

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Album of the Day: La Chinga – S/T

Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013

Lovingly pinched: Paranoid Hitsophrenic: I was in Mission, B.C. recently, a small town of roughly 36,000 (that feels like 5,000) about a 70 minute drive from the city center of Vancouver. While there I spotted a concert flyer stapled to a telephone pole, about a block from my Mom’s house. […]

Album of the Day: Beastmilk – Climax

Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: Climax is an apt title for the debut full-length from Finnish quartet Beastmilk, a surging record (featuring Hexvessel’s Mat ‘Kvohst’ McNerney on vocals) that emerges fully-formed from some kind of nuclear wasteland with a rampaging synthesis of punk rock swagger, new wave energy and […]

Album of the Day: Circle – Incarnation

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Meat Mead Metal: There are those bands that, no matter how much music they release, you always know what you’re going to get. If that’s a good or bad thing, that’s up to you. Then you have those that change things up as they go along and […]

Album of the Day: Ancient Warlocks – S/T

Posted on Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from The Sleeping Shaman: It’s a risky business to start a new label in this current musical climate when so many people want something for nothing but the Lay Bare principal is a simple one…you want it you buy it. On vinyl!!! Getting Mos Generator on board for […]

Album of the Day: Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen

Posted on Monday, November 25th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from Thrash Hits: Whilst the metal press at large was seemingly entranced by Ihsahn’s fourth solo album Eremita, gushing flowery adjectives all over the show and proclaiming it “Album Of The Year” and such, it left some of us a bit cold. Sure, it had some nice songs […]

José Carlos Santos’ Roadburn Band of the Week: Mansion (Terrorizer)

Posted on Monday, November 25th, 2013

The people behind Roadburn have a unique knack for picking the right bands out of the endless throng, even if they’re apparently irretrievably buried far beyond the public eye. The band might be from a geographically remote place, might not have any proper releases out, but if they exhale the […]

Roadburn 2014: Into the Depths of Sorrow by Sarah Kitteringham (BeatRoute Magazine, Iron Fist)

Posted on Monday, November 25th, 2013

The first time I ventured to Roadburn was the result of a happy accident. After spending a few years saving after high school, I departed for Europe with a backpack in tow for eight glorious months. I had been a metal fan for shortly under a decade, and was a […]

Album of the Day: Pelican – Forever Becoming

Posted on Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Lovingly pinched from ThisIsNotAScene: One always has expectations when listening to a new album by an established band for the first time. Chicago’s Pelican have a reputation for expansive oceans of sound that quite literally are the sound track to some gargantuan military like operation. On first hearing Forever Becoming […]

Album of the Day: Jesu – Everyday I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came

Posted on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Lovingly pinched from PopMatters: Justin Broadrick’s career can be seen as one long, slow comedown from the birth of punk. As a teenager, he played lightning-fast riffs and helped write the world’s shortest song (‘You Suffer’) as part of Napalm Death, the pioneering grindcore band. After only a couple demos […]