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City of Ships – Minor World Album Cover

City of Ships – Minor World

Reviewed by
9.1
City of ShipsMinor World
Record Label: Translation Loss
Release Date: July 19th, 2011
I think it’s some time after Eric Jernigan announces that his mind “used to be something of a steel trap” in “Subrosa” that it becomes clear that City of Ships have a Midas touch. I should’ve seen it coming: They’ve put out a couple of sterling EP’s, backed them up with 2009’s absolutely remarkable Look What God Did to Us, and developed a reputation for a spellbinding live show. Is it any surprise that Minor World is really, really good? It’s the kind of effort that pushes the band closer to “they can do no wrong” status.

City of Ships place a stronger emphasis on abstract atmospheres this time around, and for that reason, Minor World sounds less sonically bleak than Look What God… Tracks like “Sweet Delirium” and the beastly closer “Low Lives” begin with airy passages that reappear several times throughout the songs, and “Darkness at Noon” sticks with a single, aloof texture for all of its five-and-a-half minutes. In other places, the atmospheres simply play supporting cast, like in “Clotilde,” where they give the climax its intensity. I don’t think it’s much of an argument whether or not this is a good direction for the band to take, because it is. All these sections are beautifully written and executed, all powerful reminders we’re listening to a band that wields top-notch musicianship (no hyperbole intended).

It goes without saying that the album’s muscle still lies with its heavy parts. Fellow AP.net staffer Blake Solomon described Look What God… as “the sound of a band who would shoot their own fathers to make this music thing work.” That’s very much still applicable here. They haven’t lost any of their trademark sound. For newcomers, that means sludgy, dissonant guitars, macabre moan/screams and drums that tick ominously. But you only have to listen to the sawing riffs in “Tantric Engineer” or “Chainman” to realize they’ve since gotten gruffer. Badder, even. Or “Low Countries” and “Celestial Navigation” to realize they’re combining melody and ruthlessness more expertly than before. In some ways, this is City of Ships 2.0: There are plenty of improvements to ooh and aah about.

Recommended If You LikeConstants, Isis, Torche, Plane Mistaken for Stars, Rosetta
Track list1. Clotilde
2. Subrosa
3. Low Countries
4. Tantric Engineer
5. Darkness at Noon
6. Easy Way / Hard Way
7. Celestial Navigation
8. Sweet Delirium
9. Chainman
10. Low Lives

Find City of Ships on facebook.
This review is a user submitted review from Matthew Tsai. You can see all of Matthew Tsai's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
08:13 PM on 07/14/11
#2
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
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Welp, this will definitely be on my end of the year list.
12:49 AM on 07/15/11
#3
Ryan Gardner
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Love this record
03:18 AM on 07/15/11
#4
proudy
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I want this record so bad! Been listening to there last one all week!
05:04 AM on 07/15/11
#5
PetitnaindesÎles
Kaneki-kun, BON APPÉTIT
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I've been listening to Low Countries all day ! Can't wait to hear this monster.
07:05 PM on 07/17/11
#6
MyJukeboxBroke
I need a Couch
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never heard of it, but i strangely have an urge to listen
12:26 AM on 07/18/11
#7
whiterussian
awake my old dry bones.
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a RIYL with PMFS? interesting. -and Torche and Isis.
Looks like I've been missing out, will get on this soon.
10:00 AM on 07/18/11
#8
walk aimlessly
made of fabric strings and elastic.
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good stuff. anyone else getting a less poppy Recover vibe from them?
10:35 AM on 07/18/11
#9
drewinseries
Fight to get it back again.
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10:41 AM on 07/18/11
Matthew Tsai
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never heard of it, but i strangely have an urge to listen

a RIYL with PMFS? interesting. -and Torche and Isis.
Looks like I've been missing out, will get on this soon.

Do eet!


Thanks for the tip.
10:46 AM on 07/18/11
drewinseries
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Do eet!



Thanks for the tip.

I should be thanking you, never listened to this band until I read this review, and in my past ten minutes internet roam I found that on their facebook. I just got Look What God Did To Us, excited to further listen to this,
10:52 AM on 07/18/11
Matthew Tsai
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I should be thanking you, never listened to this band until I read this review, and in my past ten minutes internet roam I found that on their facebook. I just got Look What God Did To Us, excited to further listen to this,
Nice! You'll enjoy Look What God. It came out in 09 and I'm still playing it constantly. It packs a bigger punch, I think, while this one is more atmospheric. Both are freaking fantastic in their own ways.
11:01 AM on 07/18/11
drewinseries
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Nice! You'll enjoy Look What God. It came out in 09 and I'm still playing it constantly. It packs a bigger punch, I think, while this one is more atmospheric. Both are freaking fantastic in their own ways.
Yeah I am enjoying the vibe a little more from Minor World, but Wraiths in Flight hasn't seemed to not blow me away each listen.
12:19 PM on 07/18/11
AdamChildress
Wondrous Oblivion.
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Definitely going to check this out.
07:00 PM on 07/18/11
proudy
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wow sounds different from the previous release but I still like it
Definitely one of my albums of the year along with Moving Mountains!

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