Stuck In This Ocean

Written by: TL on 17/10/2011 22:02:20

First world problems, I know, but even here in Denmark, a location that most tour planners seem to consider an afterthought, we occasionally get times where good gigs are so on top of each other that one is hard pressed to come up with the time and the money to make it to all of them. I bring this up because I recently missed a visit by upcoming Manchester quartet Airship, and having gotten into their debut LP "Stuck In This Ocean" since then, I tell you, I am kicking myself for it.

What really baffles me however, is how this band is only playing a small venue with little promotion to speak of? Okay, sure, they're only on their debut release, but if I was some hip, happening label person, I would probably have saliva running from the side of my mouth and dollar signs in my eyes listening to the way these guys sound. I mean it can't really be a bad thing, instantly invoking comparisons to a band that just won a grammy for album of the year - Arcade Fire - can it?

It doesn't stop there however, hell it doesn't even really begin there with "Stuck In This Ocean", an album that nails the contemporary trends dead on, flowing coolly from a chill to a soar on one song after another, offering mellow, singalong-able indie-vocals on top of steady drums and pulsating guitar and bass lines that have appeal similar to that of Kings Of Leon. Listen to one of the album's highlights, "Spirit Party" and you'll see what I'm talking about. The band's tools are simple, yet their employment is devilishly efficient, as much is evident when one beholds the timing with which they routinely stomp the 'stadium-rock' pedals at exactly the opportune moment, lifting songs dynamically for maximum effect.

With shameless application of such tried and trusted tools as well as other well-known tricks such as simple lyrics repetition, Airship quietly manage to produce an album's worth of something as underappreciated as good, simple songs.. that sound like a million bucks. Moreover they manage to do so with variety, for while Arcade Fire and Kings Of Leon seem to lure in the background of every track, "Invertebrate" is also reminiscent of Young The Giant, "Gold Watches" isn't too different from recent Cold War Kids material, "Test" has so much noise going towards the end that it sounds a little like The Joy Formidable" and those are just naming a few.

Common for most all of those songs though, is how they crawl under your skin requiring few listens and little effort, covertly spreading the propaganda in your system that this is a pretty good album. And before you know it, you'll be ready to believe it, just as me, wondering how this band's career is not exploding as did the one of say, The Vaccines? Are the indie-kids or the hipsters really so intent on finding the next trend that they'll stubbornly ignore a fine interpretation of sounds that's been all the rage only recently? Does the material's relative simplicity, and/or the fact that the singer's British is occasionally too slurred to easily pick up the lyrics, really detract so much from the overall impression? Is anyone answering yes to these questions or is it simply a matter of the band not having been exposed to the right people yet? I don't know, but I for one am answering in the negative. This is a band I'd highly recommend checking out if you like any of the bands mentioned so far, or others even remotely like them.


Download: Algebra, Spirit Party, Gold Watches, Test
For The Fans Of: Arcade Fire, Kings Of Leon, Cold War Kids, Young The Giant, Chapel Club

Release Date 05.09.2011
Play It Again Sam

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