Following in the Post Rock footsteps of iLIKETRAiNS, Listing Ships have set sail from the high seas on this their Maiden Voyage and found themselves in landlocked Oxford. This four piece features members of From Light To Sound, Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element, Witches and Piexo, all brought together into one into one noisy collective.
Having referred to them as Post Rock might have been premature; there are clear similarities here with the more recents sounds coming from Mogwai, however, more crucial to forming the sound of Listing Ships are the bands that were commonly drawn upon at the inception of Post Rock. The psychedelia and jazz coloured sounds of Krautrock legends Can are an obvious comparison. The walls of distortion, dynamic and rhythmic shifts, combined with confident use of synths, all pull together modern instrument rock and the sounds of 70’s Germany.
As often happens with instrumental music it is hard to really get a true feel of the thematic intention of the artist from the music alone. With titles like ‘All Aboard The Andrea Doria’ and ‘Skipper’s Daughter’, along with the name of the band AND the release, it’s clear there is meant to be a naval/maritime theme running through all the works of this band, but I don’t quite see it, or more accurately, hear it. There is a well formed and cohesive style and sound across all three tracks of Maiden Voyage, but nothing that really evokes anything of the titles.
This said, I don’t think this leaves these songs lacking one bit. There is a huge amount of energy, enthusiasm and confidence flowing from every riff and beat. Avoiding classic verse/chorus/verse structure leaves them with more space for experimentation and flourish, and this works very well. ‘Skipper’s Daughter’ starts with a light guitar riff, and then after a brief break just turns everything up to 11, like a happy child playing with Daddy’s amplifier.
It really comes across just how much this band want to be doing this on every track. There is no restraint, no sense of studio fear, just a band condensed and packaged into 17 minutes. I imagine from the sound here that Listing Ships must really put on an intense live show.
If you like Post Rock with a bit more excitement and intrigue then this EP is definitely for you. However, I wouldn’t want anyone to have read the above and think that this leads to a divisive and alienating clutch of songs, because that is not this case. If you’re looking for something new or feel sea-winds of risk-taking blowing past, then give these guys a punt, and come on board.