The PIRATE SHIP QUINTET - Rope For No-Hopers

The Pirate Ship Quintet - Rope For No-Hopers

5 songs
48:15 minutes
***** **


At a first glance, The Pirate Ship Quintet from Bristol seems to be a septet, but as the trumpetist and vocalist both only have minor roles on the album, I guess the band name does make sense. Five years after their self-titled EP, consisting of three tracks making it to half an hour of music, the musicians decided to work on some material collected since the debut. They came up with five songs running between seven and twelve minutes, collected on their first longplayer Rope For No-Hopers.

The label can talk about classical minimalist rock music as much as they want, but in the end the main ingredient of the Pirate Ship Quintet’s sound is post rock. They owe a lot to bands like Explosions In The Sky and A Silver Mount Zion, although fortunately the musicians are smart enough to add some different elements to come up with something different. The band’s focal point is undeniably cellist Sandy who also has a full-time position with the National Orchestra of Wales. His instrument takes the role normally left for a vocalist, and his varied playing is really quite intriguing. From low moaning groans to higher pitched whines, he masters the entire spectrum of the cello. Otherwise we get the more or less typical post rock templates, with lots of slow movements that gradually build up momentum and tension. Occasionally there are some nice trumpet parts that make for a richer sound, and most songs feature subdued vocals that can strangely enough be labelled as screamo. This is unusual, maybe not what one would expect, but definitely give the band a unique touch.

Rope For No-Hopers is consequently neither a run-of-the-mill post rock exercise neither a revelation, but there is definitely enough to build on for the future. I especially like the parts where more than just the quintet is involved, and maybe the band should consider renaming themselves The Pirate Ship Septet and offer more of their lusher parts on a hopefully soon following next album. They are definitely worth it to keep an eye out and ear open for further things to happen.

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