Supply And Depend

Written by: TL on 25/11/2008 01:15:44

Fans of From Autumn To Ashes must have taken it pretty hard when the band, even after surviving the loss of their original vocalist Benjamin Perri and coming back better than ever with former drummer Francis Mark fronting the band on "Holding A Wolf By The Ears", decided to go on 'indefinite hiatus' early in 2008. While many may indeed mourn the loss of that great band, others, like me, have been keeping an eye out for the new projects pursued by the members of that band, so when Francis Mark and Rob Lauritsen (the former guitarist) released the debut of their new brainchild Warship, I considered it a must get.

And let's just let the cat out of the bag straight away. If "Supply And Depend" is any kind of sign of what can be expected from these two dudes in the future, I'm not missing FATA one bit. With Francis doing drums and vocals and Rob doing both guitar and bass on the album, the duo has managed to unify the deprivation of hardcore bands like Gallows and Converge with a low-fi groove in the veins of Coliseum and a pressing and vulnerable depression reminiscent of bands like Nirvana or Brand New into a bleak statement of misanthropy and despair that makes Frank Carter (Gallows) seem like he's joking and John Henry (Darkest Hour) seem like a positive individual.

Enter the album through opener "Toil" and just witness how the cold guitar riffs and ravaging howls close in on you like the rising tide, creating a suffocating mood right off the bat that makes you feel like you're trapped alongside the band in a horrible situation, writhing, squirming and screaming in a futile attempt to break free. "Profit Over People" follows the same lines, but seems to take a step back to apathetically remark on just how shitty the world of Warship looks, and along with "Toil" and the following "Wounded Paw", these three tracks showcase the band's characteristic ability to mingle direct destructive hardcore with brooding and atmospheric grungy indie rock. "Where's Your Leash" easily stands out above them though, as it successfully introduces a groovy and electrifying metal'n'roll riff that you'd otherwise expect to diminish the thickness of the dark expression.

Still, even that song is nothing compared to the following "Lousy Horoscope" that has the band sounding like Brand New, coated though in a few extra layers of depression and with Francis singing clean vocals that sound like Craig Nicholls (The Vines) with a hardcore edge to his voice, and as the song progresses it builds into a touching crescendo that displays a naked feeling of surrendering helplessness and seems more honest than anything I can remember hearing this year. On the following track, the band seem to lose their breath a bit, however, as proven by "Fetus Flytrap"'s return to the virtues of the opening material, there are still good things to be found on the album's second half.

As a band, Warship has both their strength and their weakness in the simplicity of their expression. On one hand, the fact that the instruments sound like instruments, so you can hear the bass buzzing threateningly in the background and the drums cracking without any inflating production measures, goes a long way towards establishing the feeling of honesty and humble passion that "Supply And Depend" seems drenched in. On the other hand, even while Francis consistently roars in a manner that communicates feelings far better than most screamers out there, him and Rob's efforts are still quite inferior to UnderOATH's similarly themed "Lost In The Sound Of Separation" which I still think that our own PP failed to recognize as one of the very best records of 2008. Be that as it may, this album is still a really fuckin' good listen for anyone who likes bands like UnderOath, Darkest Hour or others that dwell on expressing just how fucked up this world can seem sometimes, and in fact, it should be the same for anyone, as long as they're prepared to stomach the distance between it and the melo-screamo the guys did with FATA.

Download: Toil, Where's Your Leash, Lousy Horoscope, Fetus Flytrap
For The Fans Of: Darkest Hour, United Nations, Underoath, Converge
Listen: myspace.com/mywarship

Release Date 04.11.2008
Vagrant Records

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