Review: Ship Thieves- No Anchor (No Idea)

Posted: March 14, 2016 in Reviews

SHIP THIEVES "No Anchor" (CHRIS WOLLARD & THE)

Ship Thieves? Where have I heard that name before? Oh, yes! Formerly known as Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves, this “side project” of the Hot Water Music guitarist/vocalist was last heard from in 2013, on a 7” single. Back again with a full LP (the first since 2012’s “Canyons”) and a more egalitarian band name, they’ve dropped the sedate Americana sound for one that’s much more rockin’. No longer a “solo” project, this Ship Thieves is now a full-time band. The full sound of multiple guitars, Wollard’s deep raspy voice, and the gang-style anthemic vocals are the sort of thing more familiar to Hot Water Music fans and a perfect fit for the No Idea sound. One of the things that strikes me about this album is that it starts out strongly…and keeps getting stronger. “Middle Man” opens the album with cool guitar lines, Wollard’s gruffness, and some great sing-along parts. The title track is next, cranking up the intensity a notch, but things really take off with “Born Into This,” a high energy track with which I can imagine being at the front of the crowd, all sweaty, PBR tall boy in hand, fist pumping, pushing forward to sing along. “Long Way Down” has an awesome old school feel to it, simple repetitive guitar lines, and cool backing vocals. “Something Is Missing” is even more powerful, cranking things up even higher in intensity, adding some beautiful yet edgy melodic lines in the guitars. “MBJOK” is next, maintaining the high energy levels and guitar interplay. You get the idea – this is a great record. And, though it’s not a Hot Water Music record, given that there hasn’t been any new-recorded output from that band since 2012, for many people this will be the next best thing. To my own ears, there’s no “next best” here – it qualifies for the “best” category.

-Paul Silver

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