City Of Ships

Look What God Did To Us

Written by: PP on 03/09/2009 21:24:22

I didn't think any bands could successfully emulate Queens Of The Stone age's quirky sound and be at least somewhat successful at it, but Spinnerette proved me wrong. I felt the same about everyone's favorite experimental hardcore/post-hardcore act Thrice as well, but now it seems City Of Ships are hellbent on demonstrating otherwise on their oh so close to fucking brilliant new album, the intriguingly titled "Look What God Did To Us". You see these guys take everything good about Thrice's masterpiece "Vheissu" and morph it into an experimental rock / post metal soundscape rich in detail and even fuller in jaw-droppingly deep musical passages that'll have you scratching your head for weeks before they open up their magnificence. Lips drooling yet?

The opening five seconds already signal that you're dealing with an album which will be talked about for months, if not years in the future. Quiet, subtle, yet intriguing guitar melody and formidable, mood-setting percussion immediately shouts experimental music at you, while the restrainedly sung opening lyric "You're swimming back and forth...they're all around you" sounds fuckin' creepy in a good way, foreshadowing a huge explosion according to the best moments you remember from your quiet/loud dynamic 101 class. Sure enough it arrives moments later, with guitars crashing around, though still providing intermittent melody, while everything is perfected by the hoarse roar of their vocalist. The pained "A constant reminder" scream is something Dustin Kensrue himself would be proud of including in his repertoire. Track two "Spring Tiger" proceeds with ambient instrumentation and the sing/melodic scream combination, simultaneously creating a feeling that there's a never-ending well of depth and intelligence in City Of Ships' music, infinitely many elements waiting to be discovered by the attentive listener. "Praise Feeder" brings some high pitch screechy guitar work into the mix, and while I'd love to say the instrumentation is what makes me like this album so much, I really have to elevate the vocalist's incredible performance throughout the whole record. Not only does he own a vast range, but his delivery creates a strong sense of urgency to the band's music, a feeling og restrained aggression, like a caged lion of a sort waiting for the right moment to unleash its fury. I could describe more songs, but you'll have gotten the point from these three already.

The strength of City Of Ships' expression lies in their ability to create incredibly atmospheric soundscapes that all-encompass the listener into the band's mysterious world. Where this in many other cases means extensive, even mammoth length songs, the true strength of City Of Ships is that their songs rarely pass over 4 minutes in length. They are intelligent songs, but not inaccessible, and the beauty of it all lies in their ability to write songs that are both easy to get into, but still contain a ridiculous amount of depth and hence longevity. Essentially, "Look What God Did To Us" has all the ingredients of being an amazing, album of the year sort of record, but there are a few songs towards the end that fail to capitalize on the momentum built by the strong beginning as the songs just aren't as memorable. Still, this record is... something else.

Download: Wraiths In Flight, Silver Anniversary, Spring Tiger
For the fans of: Thrice, Constants, Rosetta, Buried Inside
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.07.2009
Translation Loss Records

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXI