Ship Thieves – No Anchor

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Ship Thieves

No Anchor - No Idea Records

Ship Thieves are a band formed by Chris Wollard of Hot Water Music, formerly known as Chris Wollard And The Ship Thieves, the fact that his name no longer appears in the group’s moniker indicates that this outfit has moved beyond being a side project, and for me this release indicates they deserve recognition in their own right. Having said that it’s almost impossible to look objectively at the works of someone from a popular band without a degree of comparison, so apologies for that to Mr. Wollard as it’s an inevitability that it’s going to happen. I am however going to try and avoid pirate or naval references in this review, as tempting as they may be.

As with many acts that start out as the side projects of an established band, they initially act as a depository for ideas and songs that don’t suit their better known act. Whilst that may have applied to Ship Thieves earlier releases I’m not sure it applies to this album, this is a strong no frills punk rock release in it’s own right. The tempo rarely lets up, the songwriting is top notch and this album features some of Chris Wollard‘s fine trademark guitar riffs. Whilst the vocals are perfectly fine they lack the bite of his other act and indicate why Chuck Ragan is the lead vocalist for Hot Water Music

This is a fine album for those who like their punk rock in it’s raw state. There isn’t a bad track on this release and it suggests that Chris Wollard has a bright future, whether that’s with Ship Thieves or Hot Water Music. However, what does let the album down is the slightly muddy production which doesn’t let the obvious energy and commitment in this album shine through. This is a damn shame as I can hear the album this could have been.

I sincerely hope that Ship Thieves go on to greater things as the potential they possess is immense, so whilst this isn’t a direct hit it’s a good broadside… dammit I almost made it.