The Dead Ships – EP1

Should LA’s The Dead Ships have been around in the 1960s, we might expect them to be a little partial to a bit of the old heroin, such is their penchant for the heyday of NYC garage rock. Thankfully however, this is 2015, not 1965, and heroin has, in that time, become like so passée, and as a result it’s more than likely the band prefer craft beers and quinoa over any form of opiates.

Produced by Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, the imaginatively titled EP1, sees The Dead Ships fusing together the pop and almost-psych aesthetics of classic ’60s garage rock with the more contemporary stylings of the likes of The Strokes, though the deft touch of Canning’s production is never far from the fore and those familiar with Broken Social Scene will appreciate the familiar, albeit subtle production on tracks such as ‘Citycide’ or opener ‘Big Quiet’. The band’s native California is never far away either; the spirit of Cold War Kids channelled on ‘Seance’ and again on ‘Canyon’, just as much as the spirit of New York bleeds in to ‘Tomorrow’s Crashes’.

As a result of such complimentary, yet seemingly disparate parts, not to mention the deft production from Canadian Canning, EP1 very much has a feel of North America about it. From the rich americana of the aforementioned ‘Cityside’ to the rattling garage pop of ‘Tomorrow’s Crashes’, it’s a difficult feeling to overlook, but for certified Yankophiles, there’s a lot to love here. What’s more, the EP is part of a duo, the second again produced by Canning. So those who see themselves digging EP1 have a lot to get excited about later in the year. I wonder what it will be titled…

Dave Beech