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Show review crush: Ships in the Dark at Charlie’s Kitchen 11/2

November 3, 2009

As I walk into Charlie’s Kitchen, the enthusiastic crowd are mostly packed like sardines toward the front of the stage awaiting Ships in the Dark to start their set. I grab myself a beer and take out a pad of paper and pen so that I can jot down a couple notes to write this here review. This being my first show review for BBC, I did not realize that having pen and paper on hand would cause such a stir. Within the 10 minutes of my being there, I must have met at least half of the crowd – parents, aunts, uncle, a sister, girlfriends friends and fans – all wanting to tell me how great Ships in the Dark are. One gentleman jokingly threatened to “find me” if I didn’t write a good review. Well fear not, sir, for I now have no intention 0f doing so.

Ships in the Dark begin their set with a funky, upbeat, pop-rock number. At first listen, I couldn’t tell watch was funkier – the bass line or the keyboard – until I realized that the keyboardist, Scotty King, was rocking both on the keys. The band progressed through the set with a ebb and flow of emotion, dynamic, and intensity. Songs like their fourth in the set, Out in L.A., remind me of poppier late 90’s rock such as Phantom Planet, with a light-hearted feel wrapped up in a rock ‘n roll shell. Other songs in the set, such as Our Depression and their closer Landslide (both of which can be found on their myspace) cover more serious issues that many of us can relate to. The lead singer, Gabe Rossi, takes the audience through all of these issues with a convincing amount of emotion, while lead guitarist/back-up vocalist, Matt Munson, seals the deal with sweet vocal harmonies reminiscent of early 90’s alt rock, and sweeping guitar licks reflective of modern acts such as Coldplay.

Possibly the most impressive thing about this band is the musical talent in use of dynamics and musicianship. Munson plays everything on the guitar spectrum from sleepy triadic diddies to rip-roaring, wah heavy solos. Drummer, Max Monaco plays in a similar fashion. He obviously has the musical knowledge of when it’s appropriate to let loose within a song, and when all that is needed are cymbal swells. King shines on the keys with styles ranging from modern to ragtime. Gabe Rossi even takes out a violin for their last number and manages to switch from a rhythmic stutter to an AC/DC-esque lick.

Perhaps that is why for such a young band, Ships in the Dark have an impressive fan base in number and enthusiasm. Or maybe it’s simply because according to a fan who insisted I quote her, yet remained anonomous “They are all incredibly handsome.”

One Comment
  1. Ships in the dark rock houseee

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