Thursday 11 January 2024


Do you remember stoner/desert rock in its early days, when the (then) new genre took its influences more from Black Flag than it did Black Sabbath, when a desert was seen as a viable venue and when people were not sure if Brant Bjork was a member of ABBA, a tennis player or the brother of an Icelandic songstress. Well those who who do remember those days are sure to find "Kingdom of Nothing EP", the latest EP from California's That Ship Has Sailed, very much to their taste. 

"I Am, Yeah" opens this neat little collection of raucousness its droning intro suddenly exploding into a caustic mix of raunchy riffs and tight rhythms fronted by vocals delivered in sneery punkish tones, tones that were very much de rigueur in the early days of the desert rock scene.. "One Legged Dog" follows and here we find a vocal trade off between those clean sneery tones of the previous track and harsher almost shouty tones, this war of voices played out over a backdrop of groove boasting an equally interesting blend of proto-metallic tinted garage rock and four to the floor desert rock. Next track "Sweet Journey" spins along on an ear pleasing circular guitar refrain driven by basement level growling bass and busy drumming and features some cool wordless harmonies going on behind the songs gritty lead vocal. Anyone out there with a knowledge of  80's British rock music might notice a Stone Roses vibe creeping into the middle section of next track "Iron Eagle II" albeit bookended by some highly enjoyable heavy stonerized rock, the song also boasting one of the EP's least gnarled vocal performances. . Final number "Ready To Go" sees That Ship Has Sailed returning to their early desert roots with a gritty hard driven fuzzy rocker decorated with a vocal attack that ranges from punkish and clean to harsh and growly and also features some searing guitar pyrotechnics, a real barnburner to finish things off.

That Ship Has Sailed describe their sound as "prehistoric stoner rock" which is their way of saying that the music they bring to the table has been heavily influenced by the bands and the music from the early days of the genre, which is fine by us and we suspect many of you reading this too.
Check 'em out .... 

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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