Published Sep 27, 2008With Cursed gone (for now?) from our national hardcore scene, theres a big, gaping hole where our love for crushingly heavy riffs and speedy breakdowns used to be. Black Ships, a group of dirty punks from Montreal, might be ready to fill that void, as Omens, their first full-length release, can attest to. Opening with "No Eulogy, the band make good on the promise of an earlier CD-R release and their Low EP, blasting out a slow explosion of guitars that build over a tom-heavy drum beat. Vocals here are run through some very Colohan-esque distortion, and thats not a bad thing this shit sounds heavy as fuck. By the time "The Flaws in Self-Help kicks in, a brutal speed-fest that recalls Coliseums Goddamage, Black Ships have already proven themselves adept at covering a wide array of dynamics and tempos, elevating Omens above second-rate Entombed clones. As well, theres sonic space on this record that isnt always filled by a wall of crashing noise. From the lone guitar break of "Liars are a Dying Breed to the calculated sludge of "Pestilence, Black Ships are powerful, loud and, most importantly, original.
Did you have to approach Omens in a different way than you had tackled recording in the past, knowing you were making a full-length?
Drummer Taylor: With Omens, the recording process differed naturally due to the amount of care that we put into this album. First, we took our time choosing the right person to record this album. We also gave ourselves more time than we probably needed in the studio because we wanted to avoid the time constraints that existed in our past efforts. Finally, our good friend Julien Brousseau engineered the album and it was helpful to have an honest opinion from outside of the band in order for us to address all the subtle issues in the songs that we would have otherwise ignored.
It seems like more and more punk and hardcore bands are relying on MySpace to promote their music. You guys are currently touring like crazy. Is this a lost art?
Obviously it is easier for people to sit at home and run their bands from behind a computer but we would like to think that active bands still need to tour. We have always sold more of our music on tour than on some internet store. Also, heavy music always translates better live. We would much rather have tour dates under our belt than song plays on MySpace. (New Romance For Kids)