City of Ships

City of Ships

City of Ships

Live Free of Don’t Tour


City of Ships are two contradictory bands wound up in one, and so it’s fitting that this most recent release, Live Free of Don’t Tour, is actually two separate studio efforts combined as one full length album. Side A of this vinyl only release (you heard me right — vinyl only!) was previously sold by the band on their 2008 tour and titled appropriately Tour EP. Side B was put out by Forcefield Records as Live Free or Don’t. Played one right after another, the two halves show a group unsure of what kind of band they want to be.

Let’s break it down:

Side A finds this transient band — who currently call Richmond, Virginia home — engulfed in a feedback frenzy. The guitars are sludgy, the bass evil, and the drums insistent in an ear hugging way that imprisons the melodically screamed vocals inside of a rusty cage of heavy metal. They’re at their best when the vocals and music section battle it out for top billing, as on “Critical Vulture.”

Side B plays cleaner, and shows a more progressively attuned side of the band. There are quieter moments, often accompanied with a more melodic method of singing from vocalist Eric Jernigan, and less urgency than was just delivered on Side A. At times they almost remind me of a rougher-edged 30 Seconds to Mars — and I’m pretty sure that this was not the band’s intent. This aspect of the band is not without its moments of note. Ending things on a high note, the record closes out with “Time Flies” — a song that best combines the trio’s fighting halves.

City of Ships:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Ramen Shop
    Ramen Shop

    A young man searches for the secrets of his family and great Ramen.

  • Southern Avenue
    Southern Avenue

    Keep On (Concord Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Don Felder
    Don Felder

    Don Felder took music fans down Eagles’ memory lane at Disney Epcot’s® Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Michelle Wilson loved every nostalgic moment of it.

  • Alfred Sergel IV
    Alfred Sergel IV

    Alfred Sergel IVtet (The Tam Tam Group). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Tanika Charles
    Tanika Charles

    The Gumption (Record Kicks). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives