Search Results for "Ship Thieves"

Album Review: Ship Thieves – “No Anchor”

Hot Water Music was duality turned to unity. It was two voices that mingled and intertwined as much vocally as in their fretwork, joined together by the strongest rhythm section in punk rock. No member of Hot Water Music was replaceable. Chris Wollard is a piece of that perfect puzzle, and to his merit or detriment, he may never be able to shake off the success and admiration of his past group. His new band is Ship Thieves, which used to be Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves, the very same that released the excellent Canyons. Ship Thieves is a solo project being rebranded as a real band, and on No Anchor it signals a departure from their decidedly less punk former output. No Anchor is a punk record. It’s filled with chugging guitars and winding leads and singalong choruses– it’s basically the Chris Wollard we all loved from Hot Water Music making new punk rock with different people.

But, unfortunately, and this is all conjecture, I wonder if Chris Wollard’s name preceding itself was a detriment to the creative process on this album. Hot Water Music was great because it was four greats playing together, equally talented and, I assume, invested in the final product. I don’t doubt that to some degree all the members of Ship Thieves are into the music they make and contribute accordingly. But, if you were in a band with Chris Wollard, would you fight that hard to nix the idea of a Hot Water Music alum? Especially, if just a year ago, it was his solo project?

Herein lies the problem with No Anchor: the inconsistency of its quality. “Middle Man” opens the album with a great chorus and timely subject matter about economic inequality. It’s given a layer of literary esteem by including a Vonnegut reference, that also gives the chorus a darker take away than at first glance. This is a great song. It’s tightly structured punk rock that doesn’t waste a second of its runtime. But, No Anchor can’t maintain this level of songwriting through its duration. After a while, most of the songs blur into a hookless block of time that doesn’t take the time to differentiate song from song. The title track is strong, “Born Into This” is as good as “Middle Man,”  and “Ruts” is actually a cool, pretty tense number with lots of rock n’ roll guitar. But what about the other six tracks?

The playing is fantastic of course, and its nice to hear Wollard’s unique fretwork again. He’s a textural, harmonic player, so much so that his playing is almost consciously muted melodically, as if he would rather his single note leads become the backbone of a song rather than the highlight. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually pretty interesting to hear this approach across No Anchor, but it does serve to make the whole record sound relatively samey.

No Anchor is excellent at its heights. With a more sure cutting hand, it could’ve been a fantastic EP. With bolder arrangements and songwriting, it could’ve been a classic record. As it is right now, it’s okay, but unfortunately deserving of the title Hot Water Music-lite.


New Music: Ship Thieves (formerly Chris Wollard + The Ship Thieves) – “Undertakers”

If it’s a great secret to you that Ship Thieves (members of Hot Water Music & Samiam, previously known as Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) have a new album due out this week, you’re doing this whole “life” thing wrong. The band have released another track from said album, and it’s called “Undertaker,” and it’s probably my favorite track on the album. Check it out here.

The band’s third full length (or their first one, depending on how you look at it) is called “No Anchor,” and it’s due out in about 36 hours (January 29th) on No Idea Records. You can still pre-order a copy right here.

Ship Thieves streaming new song – “Born Into This”

Ship Thieves (members of Hot Water Music & Samiam, previously known as Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves) have a new album due out soon, and they’re streaming the second single off the album. Listen to “Born Into This” here.

The album, No Anchor, is due out January 29th on No Idea Records. You can pre-order a copy right here.

Ship Thieves stream new song “Middle Man”

Ship Thieves (formerly known as Chris Wollard + The Ship Thieves) have released a stream of “Middle Man,” the first single off their upcoming album, No Anchor, and you can give it a listen here.

Ship Thieves will release No Anchor on January 29, 2016 through No Idea Records.

Ship Thieves announce new album, “No Anchor”

Awesome news for fans of the Hot Water Music family tree. Ship Thieves (formerly known as Chris Wollard + The Ship Thieves) will be releasing their third album early next year!

The album, entitled “No Anchor,” is slated for release in January via their longtime label home, No Idea Records. Fret not, fans; Chris Wollard hasn’t left the band. The name change was prompted by the fact that the lineup, which also features Addison Burns on guitar, Chad Darby on bass and Bobby Brown (not that one) on drums, has solidified, and the new material features input from all members. According to the press release accompanying new of the forthcoming album: “There was a heavy emphasis put on space and the songs benefit from a large, organic sound devoid of over processing and ultra compression. These songs breathe, they are alive, and they never let up from the moment the needle hits the groove. They are quite simply the very best songs Ship Thieves have ever written.”

Stay tuned for more information on “No Anchor” as it becomes available!

No Idea Records announce a bunch of new releases (Hot Water Music/Small Brown Bike reissues, new Ship Thieves and more)

Var and the kind folks at No Idea Records spilled the beans on what can only be referred to as a crap ton of new releases for the ’15 today. While there are no firm release dates attached to any of these (stupid resurgence in vinyl popularity), the fact that these all may get released over the course of the next bunch of months is pretty awesome.

Perhaps most noteworthy are a couple of Hot Water Music reissues. The band are obviously celebrating their 20th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, Var reports that No Idea will be “cleaning up, re-mastering, and adding art to many of their records.” First out of the chute will be a remastered version “Finding the Rhythms” on CD and double LP, and featuring artwork that isn’t in the original vinyl packaging. Following that will be a re-mastered version of their 1999 release “Live at the Hardback,” a live recording of what was, at the time, supposed to be their final show. We all know how that turned out.

In related news, No Idea will also be releasing the third studio album from Ship Thieves, whom you probably remember as Chris Wollard & the Ship Thieves. Chris Wollard is still in the band, just not in the name. Should be out late summer, which is rad (because I still listen to “Canyons” on a weekly basis at the very least).

Also coming from No Idea this year: a new album from Billy No Mates (featuring Joey Cape and Sergie Loobkoff!?!), reissues of Small Brown Bike‘s “The River Bed,” and Palatka’s “End Of The Irony,” an I Hate Myself discography triple-album, a new album from Germany’s No Weather Talks, Black Tower‘s “The Secret Fire,” and a couple of splits that include Radon (one with Shallow Cuts, one with Japan’s Worthwhile Way).

There may be some additional goodies along the way. You can read Var’s whole rundown here. Check in down in the comment section with some of your favorite No Idea releases.


Sweet Disasters: The 17 Side Projects of Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music has had a long and varied career, spanning over 20 years, 7 studio albums, 3 compilation records, and 2 live albums. But that wasn’t enough for Chuck Ragan (co-vocalist/guitar), Chris Wollard (co-vocalist/guitar), Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums), who all have had illustrious careers with varied side projects as well. Here, we try to catalog all the members various side projects once and for all, if for no other reason than to expand the purist record nerd’s never-ending search for the Baroque 7” that Chris Wollard may or may not have played on in 1997.

Check out a comprehensive list of all the various Hot Water Music member side projects below and let us know if we missed any.

DS Staff Picks – Top 10 Albums of 2012 (Jay)

Howdy gang!

It’s that time of year again. Time for entertainment journalists, amateur and professional alike, to put on our self-important hats and present you, dear readers, with our thoughts on the year that is coming to a close. I find “Best of the year” lists to be rather insulting due to their very existence being overwhelmingly subjective by nature, so here are my thoughts on my favorite music of 2012.

By all accounts (or at least by my own accounts), 2012 was a solid-not-stellar year for music. 2011 contained a lot of albums that are still in regular rotation in my collection; 2012 has had a small handful that have maintained a spot in my regular rotation since their release (Exister and Handwritten especially), a few more that took a little while to grow on me (which is always a good thing), and a larger handful that, while solid, are almost interchangeable in their spots on this list. Also, as per usual, I’ve kept my list here exclusively to bands that we cover here at Dying Scene. If you’re interested in a wider palate, don’t sleep on Acts by RNDM, Drugs N Hymns by Rocco Deluca, Neck Of The Woods by Silversun Pickups, Mutt by Cory Branan, Silver Age by the immortal Bob Mould, Blunderbuss by the inimitable Jack White and The House That Jack Built by Jesca Hoop.

Alright, enough rambling. Here‘s my list…and by all means, use the comment section to remind me how much it sucks.

Album Review: Chris Wollard + the Ship Thieves – “Canyons”

A word of caution to the reader here: things may get a little nostalgic (and more than a little self-indulgent) for a second. Bear with me.

If I haven’t said it in passing enough over the last couple of years of review and news writing here at Dying Scene, allow me to make one point abundantly clear: man cannot live on a steady diet of Marshall stacks and Les Pauls alone. There was a time in decades past when I would have found such a statement to be utterly blasphemous. But as the hair greys and the priorities change and the responsibilities shift, some of the piss-and-vinegar contained in the angst-ridden anthems of days gone by has diluted a bit as life has become more complex.

Thankfully, I’m obviously not alone in this shift. If there has been one trend that I’ve been most into over the past half-dozen-or-so years, it’s the broadening of musical horizons of a lot of the punk community, particularly amongst artists who were so vital in the skate punk and post-hardcore movements for so long. Pop-punkers and skate-punkers and post-hardcore punkers alike have traded in their their plugged-in rigs and gone the way of the acoustic highwayman, creating a new generation of post-Dylan folk troubadours, many times finding broader crossover success from segments had either moved on from their punk days or weren’t familiar with them in the first place.

Chris Wollard has gone in a different direction. The equally-intense, though somewhat less ‘werewolfian,’ half of Hot Water Music’s co-frontman attack, draws heavy influence from the dirty swamp blues of his native Gainesville for his Chris Wollard + the Ship Thieves project. Canyons, due November 6th via Gainesville’s own No Idea Records,  marks the band’s second release, though it features a different lineup than their 2009 debut. Wollard still covers vocal duties and trades layer upon layer of guitar licks with Addison Burns, but the rhythm section is now rounded out by veterans Chad Darby (Hawks and Doves) on bass and Bobby Brown (nope, not that one) on drums. The result is a more focused step forward.

While the band’s 2009 debut full-length had its moments were it sounded at times like a solo, side project, Canyons sounds every bit like a full band project. Hot Water Music fans will instantly recognize Wollard’s trademark gritty, smoke-infused baritone, which sounds as right at home in the muck and mire that Canyons contains at times as it does during his “day job” project. The Ship Thieves are very much a modern-day, post punk guitar rock band, as the interplay between Wollard and Burns is where the band carves out its own identity. The album really shines in those moments that draw from the band’s roadhouse blues influences. The opening track, “Dream In My Head,” is a textbook Southern rock (but in a good way) influenced post-punk track that finds Wollard and Burns trading swapping guitar riffs that would make Molly Hatchet proud. “Runaway Train” follows in much the same vein evoking imagery of, well, of a runaway train.

Alas, grimy swampside blues bars are not the only places from whence Canyons spawns. “Heavy Rolling Thunder,” “Zyzoutta” and “Crawl” bring to mind the sort of layered, post-punk alternative rock sound that Samiam trademarked (and perfected on last year’s criminally underrated Trips). “Lonely Days” is an acoustic highway-wandering song, a song that is very much Chris Wollard and yet would in its own way would fit in nicely in the Chuck Ragan solo catalog. “Never Have Time,” and “Dream in My Head” for that matter, would not sound out of place on either of Chris Shiflett’s last two solo releases (the former as Jackson United, the latter for his Dead Peasants project).

Despite its late-in-the-year release status, Canyons has instantly become one of my favorite albums of the year. Unlike a lot of the aforementioned newer projects of the punk rock staples of the last decade or so, Canyons is a great driving album; like any great guitar-driven album, it sounds better the louder you play it, providing the perfect soundtrack for logging the highway miles required by those added responsibilities and changing priorities that come with being a punk rock grown up.

4.5/5 stars