Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Album Review: Demo by Ships Down

Ships Down are a melodic hardcore band from London. The five piece band formed in April 2015 and are influenced by the likes of A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, No Trigger, Rise Against and NOFX. Earlier this year they released a collection of demos on their Bandcamp page.

The first song on the release is titled No Refuge. I was taken slightly aback when I first heard the song. After hearing the crunching guitars at the beginning of the song, I was expecting some heavy vocals but instead we are treated with some vocals that remind me of Joey Cape, if Joey Cape sang for an 80s metal band. That might sound negative but it's not meant to be. I really enjoyed the different take on the genre - vocally. The song tells the story of a refugee fleeing their homes because it isn't safe and not being able to find a new home. The beginning of the second song, Sunderland, has a very interesting stop start guitar style introduction that draws you into the song. Musically the song isn't anywhere as heavy as No Refuge, really focussing on the bands musical skills. As the song goes on the song does get more intense with some great screams accompanying the main vocals. Release Me is a fast starting track. It wastes no time in launching into those soaring, melodic vocals going along with some fast paced, technical guitar parts. I always enjoy the contrasting styles in this genre of punk rock. The song is about wanting to be set free because you feel trapped. The final song on the demo is titled Not An Option. The track starts with a bit more of a subdued and held back style and this continues throughout the song. There are some nice guitar and bass solos throughout the song, again highlighting the bands talent as musicians. There is a fantastic building section in the song that leads into a rallying chorus of "So Give It All You've Got, You Better Give It All You've Got, Especially When It All Seems Lost, Take No Prisoners, Take A Stand!" The song is about fighting for what you believe in and no matter what it costs.

This is a strong demo release from Ships Down. There are many bands playing a melodic hardcore style and it's great to hear Ships Down give their own distinct spin on it.

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