Posts Tagged ‘vagrant records’

Warship – Supply and Depend

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Vagrant Records, 2008

There is nothing to comment about that album cover; it is epically awesome.  It’s got that sweet, swirling metal font for the band name, a 1776-like album title ribbon, and the excellently artful battleship in the middle.  Didn’t care what they sounded like… well, sorta already knew thanks to it being a Vagrant release.  This is the sort of album cover that one wishes to blow up to poster size and just stick it somewhere prominent.  If anyone cares, some guy named Brad Bacon created it.  Nice one.  Oh, onto the music…

Warship oscillate between heavy metal and hardcore throughout the album, which succeeds in making something that could easily fall into monotony something more enjoyably diverse.  Well, diverse for loud, heavy rock that is.  “Toil” is a typical track that involves a lot of screaming by Francis Mark and plenty of noisy help from Rob Lauritsen.  As the only two guys in the band, they both perform double duty on the critical instruments for this recording.

“Profit Over People” jacks the speed and intensity even higher, which is a level returned to often in songs like “We’ve Never Been Equal” and “Empty Vessel”.   Although Warship is often trying to maximize their presence in the listener’s air space, they do an excellent job changing tempos from song to song.  Just as “Profit Over People” seems to leave an impression that Warship will be high intensity all of the time, “Wounded Paw” provides a nice mid-tempo breather that shifts quickly back and forth from slow to fast.  Also, even though “Empty Vessel” and “The Waiting List” pounce and pulverize, the group possibly lays on their best song “Indoors” to cool off a bit into conclusion.   After a track list full of songs that seem to accuse someone of neglect and/or carelessness, the tone of “Indoors” is one of exhaustion.  Tell me about it.

Bludgeon your musical senses at Warship’s MySpace page for a few tunes.

Warship are what they are, and that is oppressive force.  If hardcore or metal are your thing then certainly go and find this record if you can.  It seems that this may be a one and done record, for the two members of the band have since carried on with other projects.  Since it was recorded not long ago, I imagine there is still a chance for the two to get back together and produce more of the heavy stuff together.  Their biggest challenge, however, is to somehow top that album cover.  I don’t think it’s possible.


No Motiv – Diagram For Healing

May 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Vagrant Records, 2001

I once picked up a free debut cd by No Motiv many, many years ago and thought they had a pretty good sound for a punk band.  Lots of energy, spunk, and the requisite angst.  Then, of course, I move on and fall into the cozy enclosure of indie pop and the in sound, which only gets me by for a few years.  Now that I’m a little older and feel that gritty rock has been a bit lacking this past decade, I figured I’d pick up No Motiv’s second record for really cheap and see what had transpired since their first effort.

Well, as you could probably tell, not much really changed within the two years.  No Motiv still has a powerhouse delivery that typifies what can be expected from a punk band of the modern age.  They quickly invoke the catchy power chord riffs and emotional choruses on “Throw In the Towel”, which still sounds entertaining despite vocalist Jeremy Palaszewski’s stern recommendation to a friend to dump his girl.  The breakneck entrance of the record continues for a few tracks before easing into the slow introduction of “Only You”, even if it is brief.  The chorus, of course, cranks it up yet again into power riffs that may have been heard not too long ago.

It all begins to get a bit dull when songs “Going Numb”, “Break It Down” and ” Savior” continue the same formula.  What is successful from song to song is Palaszewski’s vocals differentiating from a high tone to a lower, moody tone.  That really is the only change going on from song to song, though, since the guitars and drums all eventually reach the same loud, crashing level in every track.  Only until the last track of “Born Again” does the band get slower, but like “Only You”, it is short lived.  It seems that No Motiv want to make sure that no matter how somber a song’s message they are there to rock it out.  For a record that lasts for a personally long forty minutes, there was no other conclusion to possibly make.

The best places to hear something by No Motiv, even if it’s not from this record, is their MySpace page or Grooveshark.

Despite the monotony of their sound No Motiv deliver many enjoyably punky tunes, with “Celebrate” perhaps coming off as the best amidst the similarly edgy tracks.  Really, you could have made a decision on whether or not you wanted to hear the rest of the album based on that track alone.  What can be heard from this record compared to their first one is that No Motiv begin to slip into the more low key hard rock that is used often for emotionally serious subjects.  Unfortunately, as one can hear these days with mainstream rock bands, there’s plenty of that.  Therefore, No Motiv may have been progressing in their sound back in 2001, but they weren’t heading towards anything new or interesting.  This record stands as a nice treat for those looking for a quick infusion of motivation, but it is understandable why it got and continues to get ignored.