"Stuck In This Ocean" is a 52 minute concoction of beguiling Indie-Rock finesse and musical enticement. The dreamy alternative-rock band from Manchester have released their first LP on PIAS recordings. The quartet are following up an EP from early 2010 with tales of growing-up and reflecting upon their childhoods. Airship's new album is a strident venture of synth-soaked guitars with melodic fluidity and vigour. Airship have released a stunning first album with well polished tracks in all their finery. The lyrics from each interpretative angle behold meaning and inspiration.
"Algebra" is a ghostly, techno-tainted sonic-spiral of an Alternative-rock track and a cracking album opener. It's slowly reeled in on a conveyor belt of soothing ambience before bursting into an effervescent guitar-riff. The lead line "Won't move on to someone else" declaring a refuse to let someone go. Each verse builds in anticipation before swinging into the chorus over the opening riff. Track two "Invertebrate" is a chugging, light-headed bewilderment of undulating vocals, rippling cymbals and scarce, buoyant keys. For a near 5 minute song, it culminates in a gentle breeze.
The subsequent track "Kids" is the first single from the album and I find it unsurpassed as the best song on the album. It's an affectionate gaze into the past with the line "Remember who your best friend was, where are they now?". Almighty pitch changes, passionate vocals and a bouncing bass-line form a perfect example of free-range rock. A euphoric guitar graces the chorus as the backing-vocal lyric "Need it all, you got it all" which is picked up quickly. Three first-rate minutes of music from the Mancunians.
"Gold Watches" is predominantly longed out for the whistling magnificence in the chorus which is accompanied by ethereal backing-vocals. "Spirit Party" is a melodic haze of choir-like moans, electronic tidal waves and hints of Arcade Fire. "The Trial of Mr. Riddle" is an 8-minute slog of musical magnetism and instrumental prowess. In all fairness it doesn't get going until halfway but intensifies into a rock-crescendo. Itinerant touring with the riled welsh trio "The Joy Formidable" has helped birth a splendorous raucity amongst the guitar-riff.
Tracks 7 and 8 are similarly solemn affairs: "Organ" with guest vocals from Ritzy Bryan and the riff of "Test" being a stand-out tune on the album. "You pick away from the outside, now there's nowhere left to hide" is a memorable phrase from the number. "Vampires" begins with deep twinkles and a tambourine before lumping into gunshot percussion and vibrating, ambulant bass. It soars in and out of an electrifying riff before ceasing in a techno trill.
"This Is Hell" is a mildly pleasing arm-swayer and a warming penultimate effort. "Stuck In This Ocean" is the final song and again is a calming cloud of synths and vocals. Lyrics like "I've been walking through a graveyard, just to feel alive" are chilling to the thought. Airship have opened their account with a great new record. There is no need to vacillate or ponder for one moment because the four piece have officially surfaced success, but much like a tip of the iceberg with much more to discover. Buy this album and have a soundtrack to your life for a good week or two.