The Liberty Ship

Tide

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    5
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The Liberty Ship's first full-length record, Tide, is a disappointment after their strong EP released in 2003. That disc was a bright and memorable record; this record is a washed out and unremarkable indie pop recording that pales next to their inspirations (East Village, early Primal Scream, the Sarah records stable), and their main songwriter Marc Elston's former band (Bulldozer Crash). Too much of the record is stock indie pop with jangling guitars, plaintive male/female vocals, lovelorn lyrics, but no inspiration. Songs like the mopey "I'll Try," "Stars Above," and "Precious Time" are under-produced and under-written. The record is at its most interesting when the band breaks out of the indie pop rut and tries something different. "Chords Drag You Down" is a fine acoustic guitar-meets-fuzzy-electro-beats ballad; "Actually" brings in some rinky-dink organ, jazz chords, peppy background vocals, and is the most sonically interesting song on the record; and Yuri Gagarin uses sound effects, fuzz bass, and loads of loud guitars to create a suitably space-y sound. There are also a couple of songs that manage to transcend the indie blahs because of their extra-strong melodies (the best song on the album: "Baseball Caps and Novas"), or performances ("Shine On"), but mostly the record is just underwhelming. The Liberty Ship seem to have some potential, perhaps they needed to get a few more singles under their belt before they went the album route. There are enough good tracks on Tide to make for a very nice EP; unfortunately the filler is enough to sink the ship.

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