CITY OF SHIPS- ‘Ultraliminal’

Welcome on to the City of Ships. Or, no, wait- welcome into the City of Ships? Whatever. Just know that the third full-length from this two-city three-piece is their most accessible yet, made to ensnare you, shouting “join us”. That means ‘Ultraliminal’ is almost completely devoid of the darkest, most Neurosisian elements found on the band’s debut, and instead filled with the kind of progressive, spacey rock pioneered by the likes of Hum and Shiner and more. But what’s been lost in grim heft here, has more than made up for in compelling rhythms, clever, genuinely catchy melodies, and some really special songwriting. ‘Alarm’ rumbles along like a missing Quicksand classic before pivoting at the two-and-a-half minute mark into a massive, melodic, wholly original thing, ‘Private Party’ incorporates positively upbeat punk rock vibes, while album opener ‘The Light You Stole’ is especially good, one of those rare songs that seems primed with energy on an atomic level, satisfyingly heavy without every sounding aggressive, every second irresistible. Ultra good.

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