Thursday, August 1, 2013

REVIEW: Spaceships - Cool Breeze Over The Mountains

Spaceships is a L.A.-based duo that plays, in their words, "noise-pop-bedroom-garage-punk". I'm happy to use their words, because they cover it pretty well. They've been compared to Times New Viking and Guided By Voices. Those are fine comparisons, if they get you to listen, and you do definitely get at least two of the four P's... but bear in mind that the lead singer, Jessie Waite, is a lady. She's great, by the way - very enthusiastic and charismatic. Kevin LaRose, the drummer, makes a ton of noise. Their new album is Cool Breeze Over the Mountains.

Opening track is "Little", and it sets the tone with crashing drumbeats and noisy guitar, with some sort of snarly vocals. It ends suddenly and leads into "Snow Mountain", which, while still lo-fi, is more majestically paced and heavier. The vocals on this one are plain, almost without affect - until about 1:00 in, when they get loud and insistent, and LaRose starts crashing around while Waite starts shredding. "New Wishing" is just an old-school loud/fast punk song, and it's very well done.

"Limit" and "Ghost" are a bit longer and "Limit" a bit sludgier, because about halfway through, why not slow down and anchor things a bit? "Limit" even has a guitar jam about halfway through. "Ghost" is probably my favorite track on the album, as it contains the urgent pace Spaceships is best at with enough changes in tempo and structure to keep things interesting... and it has a great little guitar hook that gets repeated a couple times throughout the song.

Here's a video, and a stream, for "Ghost":

Spaceships "Ghost" from Spaceships on Vimeo.

Everything on here features a bit of the punk/surf aesthetic, including plenty of reverb on vocals and guitars in places. Again, LaRose's drumming is terrific. Here's a live performance of the title track - love the repeated surf guitar riff in this one:

Spaceships is a good name for this band - a friendly, somewhat bumpy ride out of this world and back... The record is out now (released July 23) on Mock Records.

And here is one more treat - a live cover of AC/DC's "Big Balls":

Spaceships website

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