City of Ships Live Free or Don't

City of Ships Live Free or Don't
I can’t express exactly how refreshing this five-song EP from an obscure Richmond, VA band is. With a nice bottom-heavy production sound, the band flirt with heavy near-sludge, angular Touch and Go-style mid-tempo noise rock and speedy technical hardcore all at once. Barely metal, but barely anything else, this trio (two of whom are brothers) are truly doing their own thing. Closer "Time Flies” is a great example of technicality and emotional songwriting combining to great effect. I get the feeling a full-length might get a bit tiring, due to the rather intense vibe this one throws down. An EP is perfect for this band. This takes me back to a time of discovering exciting new sounds in the underground scene that really blew minds, from Kerosene 454 to Ethel Meserve — bands unhindered by genre and expressing endless enthusiasm for just playing great music. City of Ships are hard to describe and easy to enjoy, both great things. (ForceField)