City of Ships "Live Free or Don't Tour" LPPosted on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 @ 4:13am » permalink
Currently (I think) based here in Richmond, VA (apparently they started out in northwest Florida, and kind of bounce around when not on tour), City of Ships is an awesomely creative and diverse outfit whose "Live Free or Don't Tour" LP collects their two prior CD EP's ("Live Free or Don't" and another limited edition EP sold only on tour) in one convenient package, thanks to Forcefield Records. And as seems to be happening more often lately, though rarely to such an impressive degree, you simply can't pigeonhole this band into any existing genre classification with all of the different styles and influences floating around in here. Overall it's pretty damn heavy, with pounding basslines and quirky rhythms and structures that almost have a math metal sort of vibe, but there's also a constant flow of all kinds of incredibly tactful "post-" influences, from lush clean passages and swirling, spacey effects to noisier layers of intense guitar work. And somewhere in the middle there are more straightforward power chords spattered with intricately melodic runs, while the excellent vocals are generally sung, and with just the right amount of texture (occasionally leaning towards more of a melodic screaming, if that makes any sense) – influences that I'm sure some would cite as emo/indie rock leanings, though they really don't come across as such given their much more aggressive and robust surroundings. It's just a whole hell of a lot of sound and detail for a trio, that's for sure. I couldn't even begin to tell you how they pull it off in such a cohesive and powerful manner, but they absolutely do, and I'm really fuckin' impressed by this material. Excellent.
At least for now, it seems as though you can still buy both of the original CD's directly from the band, but the LP's come with a card to access mp3 downloads of the tracks as well, so either way you want to go…