Album Review: The Shipbuilders - Spring Tide
Spring Tide is the debut album from Liverpool band The Shipbuilders. Knowing that they are from the great musical city of Liverpool should be more than enough to pique your interest. Over the years we have had an abundance of bands from Liverpool who we have fallen in love with: The Beatles, Echo and The Bunnymen, Cast, The Lightning Seeds, The Real People, The Boo Radleys, The La’s, Shack, The Coral, The Zutons, The Stands, Alterkicks, Tramp Attack, The Sand Band; the list really is endless. I have often commented that there must be something in the water in Liverpool, culturally it really is one of the best if not the best cities in the world and you can now add The Shipbuilders to that list of bands that could only have come out of the city.
If you want another reason to pick up the album Spring Tide, the fact that it is out on Mai 68 Records should be more than enough to tempt you to spend your hard earned cash as everything that comes through Mai 68 is more than worthy of your time and money.
The third reason for getting this album is because musically it is simply brilliant. The record opens with Stranger’s Lament which firstly is a fantastic name for a song and secondly it is a piece of music that will draw you in to the album from the moment you hit play. The hypnotic melodies and vocals swirl around in such a colourful and timeless manner and grab your attention in such a way that any plans you had are out of the window. La Fee Verte will transport you to a dark and mysterious bar late at night where the band is playing and all those in the bar are oblivious to everything else that is going on in the world.
Hanging Me at Dawn showcases the band's talent in capturing a story within the song. This is the tale of a person’s last night on earth, knowing that the hangman awaits “Oh kind maid, I don’t wish to make you weep / But I may not be of this Earth once you rise from your sleep”. The music and lyrics within this song allows the listen to lose themselves within the story of the song and what would it feel like to know this is your fate.
The album is full of so many great songs, reminding us all to never forget the importance of listening to an album from start to finish and not to skip a song. Before leaving you to do exactly that I will highlight some other favourites of mine including Wild Atlantic Way. I love the way this song opens with a gentle bass guitar then leads us into the sound of a band who simply love playing music with each other. Silk Road is an explosion of creativity, the song opens with a sublime guitar instrumental then effortlessly builds into a wonderful pop song with lyrics that have a very romantic theme to them “Chasing down the fugitive tide / Our stories long, our futures untold / Safe in the warmth of the light that guides us / like the moonlight on the Silk Road.”
Northern Rose is a haunting, infectious, and beautiful four-minute song whose melodies and rhythms will be swirling around your head for a very long time to come. For someone like me who has always loved looking up at the moon I was always going to be attracted to a song called The Moon and I really was not disappointed. As with everything we have heard on this album this is another fine example of what four friends can create when they have a shared love of music and life. This song should come with a warning that you will find yourself at random times of the day and in random places shouting out “The moon, the moon, the moon / Has a halo where my love has died”.
The album closes with Same Star, with drumbeats, guitars and vocals where every word is sung with meaning guaranteeing we will all be left with a feeling of positivity and optimism. The lyrics serve as a timely reminder that in a world where there can be so much unnecessary hatred and division when you strip it all down, we are all the same and all want the same things “And see how we all chase the same star / See how we all run from the same star”. If that hasn’t convinced you to spend some time with this album, then perhaps nothing will.
Spring Tide is released on 180g vinyl, limited to 300 copies
AND once you have your copy, you can listen along to the band's Tim's Twitter Listening Party here