Maritime – Heresy and the Hotel Choir

Maritime – Heresy and the Hotel Choir / 2007 Flameshovel / 12 Tracks / /

For those individuals that do not know who Maritime is, the band consists of members from both The Dismemberment Plan and the Promise Ring. They released their first full length “Glass Floor” in 2004, and followed that up with a 2006 release in “We, the Vehicles”. This, their third album, shows a very mature band that straddles the line between early emo sound, The Red Hot Valentines, and even a punk type of style at points. The first track on the album is “Guns of Navarone”, and it allows dreamy vocals to be paired alongside punchy, smart arrangements. What began as a softly stated track will bounce around listener’s heads for months after listening to this disc, even if “Guns of Navarone” is the furthest that individuals get into the disc.

The slow burn that is present during “With Holes for Thumb Sized Birds” allows individuals to get into a different state of mind when it comes to Maritime. There are not the direct linkages to earlier musical styles present during “With Holes” that there were during “Guns of Navarone”. This changed style gives the band that much luster and allows them to continue strongly into the second half of the disc. Thus, a track like “Pearl” is able to showcase Maritime as an act that can conceivably make a sea change to their overall sound and still have the same supporters. “Pearl”: is a track that shows a little bit of an appreciation for the electronic-heavy sound of “Synchronicty”-era Policy and even Brian Henley. The band is still heavily based in the post-emo sounds crafted by a number of bands in the late nineties, but Maritime easily plays to the present as much as they do to the past.

In an era when many bands go forth and stick a few tracks onto a disc with a majority of chaff, the solid sound presented to listeners during “Heresy and the Hotel Choir” stands out as a sterling example of what individuals and bands should strive for. Whether it be the inclusion of a little bit of alt-country and surf music during “Hours That You Keep” or the straight-forward rock of the aforementioned “Guns of Navarone”, there is something for everyone on this album. Maritime has some big shoes to fill in regards to the accomplishments made by the members’ previous bands, but it is only a matter of time before the act eclipses even the successes of a Promise Ring.

Top Tracks: Hours That You Keep, First Night on Earth

Rating: 7.8/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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