Since forming in 2006, City of Ships has consistently impressed audiences with their distinctive brand of heavy, down-tuned melodic rock. Their third full-length, Ultraluminal, finds the band building sonic skyscrapers on the foundations laid by their previous two LPs. With its ten expertly-crafted new songs co-produced by veteran recordist Andrew Schneider (Big Business, Cave-In, Pelican) and mastered by Carl Saff (Guided By Voices, Young Widows), the album is an unequivocal game-changing declaration from one of America’s most compelling underground bands.
Delving deeper into the sonic terrain mined by groundbreakers like Failure, Helmet and Quicksand, City of Ships delivers an innovative take on contemporary posthardcore to create an undeniably powerful listening experience. Transcendent, discerning, and ultimately cathartic in its contemplative approach, Ultraluminal proves the band’s capability in fusing their characteristic gnarled riffs with brilliant hooks to match.
Ultraluminal marks its territory with expansive guitar work, growling bass lines, and thunderous drumming. Vocalist Eric Jernigan harnesses his trademark shifts from soaring, gravelthroated anthems into tranquilizing melodic bliss, just as the songs themselves effortlessly cascade in coruscating crashes. Tracks like “Alarm” and “Metadata Blues” demonstrate immaculate poise and imaginative lyrical prowess as City of Ships keeps a white-knuckled grip on their surging dynamics.