Small Leaks Sink Ships

Until The World Is Happy, Wake Up You Sleepyhead Sun

Written by: PP on 08/05/2007 16:45:28

Sometimes it is possible to retrospectively see how a band name secretly implies what they sound like in a way you hadn't thought before. Arizona based Small Leaks Sink Ships's name is a blatantly obvious and simple assumption that a ship can be sunk by poking enough small holes in it, but yet one that perhaps wouldn't have popped into your mind if someone hadn't mentioned it to you. Incidentally this is a perfect way to describe their debut album "Until The World Is Happy..", as it doesn't create a new genre or reinvent the wheel for another but yet takes a new and refreshingly different approach to experimental indie rock, with influences all the way from experimental rock to indie pop to pop punk, but still keeping it simple enough to intensively like.

"The Flood" is one of the most brilliant album openers I've heard to date. It's one of those mood-setting tracks that perfectly outlines what you should expect from the rest of the album. The vocalist engages in a variety of equally fitting styles from melancholic post-hardcore style croons to harmonious, soothing whispers and calming vocals. It is important to mention here his superb sense for odd harmonies, as his voice switches from one octave to another in the high-end ranges - just think The Mars Volta meets The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus here (in terms of vocalists). The lengthy song gets progressively louder staying true to its modern prog rock influences (think Coheed & Cambria), but unlike most other releases in the genre, each and every passage in the song sounds distinctly different and equally interesting throughout. "Gutter Of Disneyland", one of my personal favorites", begins with off-tune guitars and similarly off-tune shouts that almost tread into the screaming territory but just barely stay on the safe side of the border, adding much needed raspiness and character to the vocalist's already admirable ability to change his voice so much. It then culminates in a massive tempo-switch where the song suddenly throws punch after punch towards you, and just as suddenly as the passage begun, it calms down into Minus The Bear-style experimental guitar play, though still containing the desperation-filled vocals on top. We're only on track two and I'm thinking this is amazing stuff while singing along to "waking for the daaaay" main vocal lines with manically paced shouts dominating the background soundscape.

"The Best Time Of The Worst Year" starts with flawlessly beautiful repetition of "I have nothing...you have everything", after which solid drumming quickly speeds up the song together with rising vocal scales, climaxing in off-tuned croons "Time stands still.. sacrifice.. all of this to save me" where the words are twisted and prolonged to fit in with the melody, showcasing SLSS's mastery of vocal and guitar melody interplay. "Dear Dictator" starts off with distant vocals and piano interlude similar to those in Muse's "Absolution", but then we are back with guitar experimentation, odd vocal harmonies and uplifting sounds until the chorus, where the Muse-like interlude returns abruptly, and is just abruptly broken by the semi-screams and something resembling a breakdown and metalcore riffs. Confused yet? I am, but it sounds fucking amazing I tell you, who cares about comprehension at this point. Then when the album lays out the Further Seems Forever-style "Sackcloth In Ashes" and the theatric piano-infused "A Muted Moment" - clearly what Panic! At The Disco were going for in the second half of their album - I am sold with no refunds offered.

I don't think I need to go further than the first few tracks out to explain you the magnificence and epicness of this album, the latter which is hidden underneath layers of melodic guitars, off-tune vocals, and complex structures, because you will surely have got the point now. Plus there's just too many aspects of this album to cover in just one short review, so let me just sum it up in one last breathe of praise on them: each note glows of perfection and each song on the album is incredible - even the entirely instrumental "Boom, Tap, Crash". One of the best albums in 2007, don't miss this.

9

Download: Gutter Of Disneyland, The Best Time Of The Worst Year
For the fans of: Coheed & Cambria, Muse, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Mars Volta, Minus The Bear,
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.02.2007
No Sleep Records

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