Gillian Carter - Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset
Record Label: Dog Knights Productions (U.K.) & Middle-Man Records (U.S.)
Release Date: June 3, 2013
It’s hard to achieve much in fifteen minutes. Yeah, you can wait for a burger in McDonalds, watch half an episode of New Girl or listen to about 100 Napalm Death songs in the space of a quarter of an hour, but will your life be at all better after those particular experiences? Probably not. However, there is one thing you could spend fifteen minutes on. Gillian Carter’s new LP, Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset, is one of the best ways one could possibly spend those few moments of their life. The Florida three piece are here to reclaim old school screamo for themselves whilst they collect the hearts of those who fell in love with Saetia, I Hate Myself and all of the wonderfully lo-fi screamy bands whose legacies seem to have disappeared within our scene over the past few years. Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset is eight tracks of brutal, emotive screamo which manages to establish Gillian Carter as one of the best at what they do.
Firstly, this probably isn’t a record for everyone. There’s a lack of polish and accessibility on here that could scare away even those who have got a taste for screams and whatnot. However, those who do take to it, will fall in love with it. Almost certainly the darkest album of the year so far, Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset is a showcase of a wonderful band. Throughout the album, we encounter mainly all out screamo, with the occasional deviation into post-rock and black metal, and hell, it’s awesome. Every lyric is forced out of the vocalist’s mouth with so much passion, every chord is strained within an inch of its life, not one aspect of this record is sloppy or filler, if Gillian Carter wasn’t a particularly talented band, they’d probably be able to win the listener over with their sheer dedication and intensity. Better yet, Gillian Carter are a talented band and every track on here re-enforces that. Opener,“Recently...”, kicks off procedures with a sludgy march into the heart of Gillian Carter’s sound. Yelpish screams are layered over exhilarating instrumentation that never misses a beat and if these tracks weren’t so short, there’s every possibility that listeners would be left out of breath between each song.
This full force blast is continuous throughout the record. “Dissertation #1 (Trapped)” has a more metal vibe, however it’s just as angry and spasmodic as the aforementioned track. “Waking Up (Lost Ships)” is similarly heavy and intense. Gillian Carter’s main strength lies not in the heaviness of their music, but in their intelligence in never letting tracks just slide into one another. In breaks from the doom and gloom which defines Gillian Carter, we’re treated to breath-takingly amazing “Time (All That Is Left Is Fading)” - a post-rock tinged seering track that combines both beauty and intensity to an amazingly effective degree, all culminating in a Bob Dylan-esque harmonica and acoustic guitar line. Nothing on this record is allowed become boring, mainly because of the length of the album but, also, because Gillian Carter know exactly how to write an album.
Overall, Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset pretty much encapsulates what screamo, post-hardcore, skramz.. whatever you want to call it, should sound like. It’s an album that manages to be ferocious and beautiful at once, and never once was I left wanting the change to another song. Whilst, instantly, Gillian Carter may not seem like a band that many people would like to devote their ears to, once you get past the grit and roughness of the record, Lost Ships Sinking In The Sunset is one of the best releases this genre will this year.