The Dead Ships garage rock meets 60’s pop-rock may not the most unique approach in indie rock at the moment, but they do manage to make it enough of their own creative extension to stand out from the multitude of similar groups. The Telecaster twang and heavy reverb that is signature to this kind of music is present, however the group does have a frantic energy that shines through and lends a certain sincerity to the music.
“Big Quiet” is a bit of a mixed bag for me. While there is nothing wrong with the track and it it is more than competently performed there is nothing about it that necessarily stands out either. This is a bit of the problem in what I mentioned at the beginning of the review, this track does not have the unique energy of the group and sounds like it could belong to any of the number of similar bands of this style. “Canyon” has a strong instrumental opening and the vocals have a much stronger presence in the track as they lack the heavy processed effect of the vocals on “Big Quiet.”
“Floorboards” is a better representation of the group as a whole, it has good dynamics between the rhythm section and guitar and a nice interactivity between the vocals and instruments. “Floorboards” is also on the heavier side of the tracks on the EP with some punk influence that adds some refreshing variety to the other offerings from the band. “Citycide” is a return to the styling of “Big Quiet” which while not quite as heavily processed as “Big Quiet” has little that stands out. “Seance” has some different dynamics than the other tracks, the more natural vocal style is also more suitable to the singer and is a standout on the EP. “Tomorrow’s Crashes” is a quite excellent track and my favorite of the release. The best of what The Dead Ships has to offer is on display here and it is a great representation of their musical ability. The raw vocals backed by a pulsating rhythm section are what drives this track to be a highlight of the EP.
The Dead Ships have a great performance to offer when they can shed the stylistic limitations of what may as well be called “industry standard” indie-rock at this point. However even the songs that do conform to that standard are not too much of a detriment to the release and The Dead Ships have managed to add a positive statement to their catalog with “Big Quiet.” Even if I find the title track somewhat lackluster.