Warship – Supply and Depend
Record Label: Vagrant
Release Date: November 4, 2008
Warship rose from the ashes of metalcore favorites (of mine) From Autumn to Ashes, whose singer Francis Mark and guitarist Rob Lauritsen decided to push their music in a slightly new direction – but don’t worry, they haven’t strayed too far from their usual course. Where it was hard to define what made FATA so amazing (because even the most hardcore of fans had to admit that there were kind of a lot of rock groups filling out the quiet-voice-loud-voice dynamic) Supply and Depend represents a conscious attempt on the musicians’ part to stand outside the box a little bit. That calls for progressive guitar riffs and a general southern rock mood, and while neither of these things are entirely new to the scene, trust me, the balance makes for a refreshing album.
Besides the obvious shifts in songwriting goals (less brutality, more genuine, non-girlfriend related sulkiness), Warship shows a new vocal tendency on Mark’s part. Rather than just shredding up tracks the way he’d done on Holding a Wolf by the Ears, this time he tends to go for more of a frustrated yell with an already lost voice (which pretty much makes sense after the last couple FATA albums.) The scratchiness of the vocals is definitely a welcome trait of the album; it adds some character and sticks out the disc against its autotoned peers. “Profit Over People” is a pretty good example of that completely fucked vocal chord maneuver. I’d like to hear this guy talk in ten years.
One of the most compelling songs on the album is also one of the most surprising; “Wounded Paw” sounds a bit like The Bled’s “Antarctica”, a brooding arpeggio laced tune that fits well next to the two crushers before it. Other attempts to break up the pace of the album fall flat; “Lousy Horoscope” could have been a lot better, but stays too slow and pulls no real punch. “Indoors” is better than that song, but isn’t likely to be remembered after it’s over.
Really, that’s this album’s curse: nothing sticks. Many of these songs come and go, especially “Fetus Flytrap” which kicks off like a From Autumn to Ashes cover band and then floats into what is easily one of the most boring moments of FATA/Warship history (even if an Audioslave-indebted chorus riff saves it a bit.) You can tell by the 2 page fold-over liner notes that this thing was most likely rushed out, and the fact that it didn’t get any press probably won’t help either.
Overall, I’m really happy to see that these guys are still doing things and doing things well… but still, you can’t go wrong in listening to either Abandon Your Friends or Holding a Wolf by the Ears. It sucks to hold one band up to their earlier band’s standards, but you can’t help it; you’re automatically going to miss that trademark sound. Maybe the second Warship album will have a more solid identity.
haven't listened to the record yet, but saw them live and pretty much felt the same way. it was good, but i don't really remember anything specific except that the drummer was wearing a cool t-shirt and kicked ass.
I've been digging this album for the last month; I'll agree there might not be a "stand-out" track or moment, but I'm just loving the brooding, powerful mood, and I've always been a sucker for Francis' vocals and lyrics (I think lyrically he took a huge step forward on HAWBTE)
there isn't mention in the review about the production, but I was really impressed by it too. Unlike so much metal and post-hardcore, the bass isn't lost behind the guitars, and theres a live, raw quality to it, which I think really suits the album
Fran is really stepping up his game as a lyricist (as evident here and on FATA's last record), and this record has a raw, forlorn feel to it. It's a really mood-specific record to me, though. Not an everyday listen.