Ahoy, Captain, Ahoy, Captain
After listening to the debut album from indie-rock quartet Ahoy, Captain, my first impression is that it’s a shame the band members have decided to go their separate ways. The collection of seven tracks is simultaneously structured and dreamlike, with brisk percussion and snappy guitar lines playing off of atmospheric electronic effects. “Kaleidoscope Dream” starts things off with a two-minute instrumental introduction that effectively foreshadows the album’s overall feel, a point where light-hearted exploration, hope and just a touch of melancholy nostalgia meet. Highlights include “Conquest of the West,” with smooth harmonies between Erin Jones and Josh Price and smile-inducing whistling, and the oceanic-themed “Ahoy!”, with the cute lyric “you’ll be my mermaid, I’ll be your merman.” The album takes an ear-pleasing, ’80s-pop turn with “John Hughes” and “Putt Putt,” which both feature lush, dance-friendly synths and guitar that would fit perfectly into a Cure song. “Out of the Blue” has some absolutely beautiful watery elements happening—even if the hawk sounds are a little silly—that are the sonic equivalent of looking up at the sun from under the sea.
Dec. 18, self-released, AhoyCaptain.bandcamp.com
Seve vs. Evan, The Remix Tapes
The first release from the synth-pop duo Seve vs. Evan (Severin Bozung and Evan Sharp) after a considerable hiatus, The Remix Tapes is an accomplished return to the spotlight. The album’s 11 tracks were released previously as rougher versions, and this newer recording (hence the title) gives them a more professional polish. Seve vs. Evan’s sound is a catchy combination of video-game-esque synths, punk drums and upbeat piano, something robots could easily groove to. The Remix Tapes begins with sounds of a countdown, followed by a rocket blasting off, like the two musicians are taking the listener on a space-traveling adventure. However, destinations on the journey aren’t planets and stars, but realizing the girl you’ve been hung up on isn’t right for you (“Slow Poke”), regretting eating fairy-tale characters (“Little Red & Wolfie B.”) and second-guessing a crush (“Take Me Home”). Bozung is a fascinating storyteller, with a voice that nearly cracks with emotion, and his heart worn revealingly on his sleeve.
Dec. 6, self-released, SeveVsEvan.bandcamp.com
Drunk as Shit, Drunk Punk Thrash
Just in case it’s not screamingly obvious, these dudes like to drink. They also like to tell as many people as possible that they like to drink. And they like to say so REALLY LOUDLY. There’s nothing subtle or nuanced happening here, just loud, fast hardcore street punk, with straightforward, chugging guitar chords and ear-pummeling drums. Drunk as Shit’s 12-track debut full-length album kicks off with “GABB” and its opening line of “Beer bong! Beer bong!”, and the thrash-y battering ram doesn’t let up until the ending track of “Wasted Life.” The vocals are pretty much unintelligible—except for short, shouted choruses, like “Drink, drink, drunk!” on “Triple D”—with the lyrics shouted/snarled at breakneck speed, but the booklet reveals that the words aren’t always nonsense. On “No Control,” Ferro yells to “Live your own life” and “Have your own mind.” The catchy, intricate drums (with what sounds like a double bass pedal) are usually the standout factor, especially on “FAWB.” There’s one particularly unoriginal moment on “We Are D.A.S.,” when a slightly jazzed-up version of the guitar line from Green Day’s “Brain Stew” rolls out—hopefully it’s just a homage.
Dec. 20, Ballz Out Records, ReverbNation.com/DrunkAsShit