Published Jun 24, 2016In Citycide, two stories are being told about city life. One is the awful feeling of being surrounded by people and feeling utterly and hopelessly alone; the other is the possibility and excitement that life in a big city has to offer. Produced by Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning, the Dead Ships' debut LP has an undeniable presence and holds its own against to the band's previous works.
Death haunts Citycide, particularly in the album's title track. Images of bodies and corpses haunt "Tomorrow's Crashes" and "Séance," while "Floorboards" describes a room that feels like the walls of a prison cell. Citycide's narration is dark and painful, yet the album is a fun one — a juxtaposition that makes this album stand out from garage-rock peers.
The trio's distorted, in-your-face guitar and relentless drums carry the record, as Devlin McCluskey switches between Dave Grohl-like howls and fervent, unabashed vocals and infectious hooks. With only a drummer, a bassist and a lead singer/guitarist, the Dead Ships' sound surprisingly sturdy, and makes use of each member's capabilities. This is most noticeable in "First Mistakes," a quick, low maintenance song that stands as one of the album's highlights.
Citycide is an immediate like, but several more will reveal its full impact. (Nevado)