Earthship – Exit Eden
Formed in 2010 by Jan Oberg, ex-The Ocean drummer (now on guitar and vocal duty), and featuring Robin Staps of the same band, Earthship will obviously draw comparisons with The Ocean.
Opening track 'Caught In a Storm' sets the scene musically (as well as a nautical theme, which runs through the album) with a syncopated rhythm and dissonant guitars. Second track 'Sea of Peril' continues in a similar vein; Atonal and serrated, full of twists and turns. Unfortunately, by track 3 'Fever Pitch', the constant changes and cut-and-paste nature of the songs makes it difficult to tell one track from another.
After another jagged and doomy opening, Track 4 'A Line divides', adds another dimension and extra dynamics to proceedings with some much-needed melody. There is a definite Mastodon vibe here, which becomes more obvious on fifth track 'Born With A Blister'.
Track 7 'Grace' features some laid back, acoustic guitar and muted drumming and stands out simply because of its, er, simplicity, whereas 'A Feast For Vultures' drifts unmemorably through a few changes in direction then ends.
Ninth track, 'Souls Embedded', kicks off with a more uptempo, mainstream feel, but lacks direction and focus while penultimate track 'Exit Eden' is a cohesive example of Earthship's penchant for syncopated choppiness.
Not a bad album on the whole, and Earthship are a seaworthy enough vessel, there's just not enough wind in their sails for them to travel very far.