Review // Melodica Deathship – The Sunken Path EP
I’ve been listening to a bizarre and frankly unnecessary amount of pirate-themed music recently. Melodica Deathship are more themed around seafaring than piracy – and I kind of over-egged the pirate angle a bit in the review – but it’s a brilliant and thought-provoking EP with so much creativity on show to make a relatively narrow theme work on so many levels.
There aren’t many Irish acts who can claim to be utterly unique – come to think of it, there aren’t many pirate-themed acts who could make the same boast – yet Cork duo Melodica Deathshipachieved just that with their singular 2010 album, Doom Your Cities, Doom Your Towns. The world and its ma has had a go at pirate-themed music at this stage – shanties have been passed around the Irish folk tradition for well over a century and have been most obviously cropped up in the music of the Pogues and soundalike progeny like Flogging Molly, while an entire subgenre of heavy metal has emerged to celebrate the buccaneering spirit. But whereas the majority of nautical music focuses on the rape, pillage and rum-drinking aspect of buccaneering etiquette, Melodica Deathship turn the entire concept on its head in the most subversive way possible.
That Melodica Deathship can so vividly evoke the darkness and isolation inherent in the pirate’s life would be impressive enough, were it not for the fact they do it with hardly a traditional acoustic instrument in sight. The closest they get is frontman Exile Eye’s talismanic melodica (their name is almost stupidly literal) which picks out the mournful, psychedelia-swamped melodies that give their music such an eerie and hazily entrancing quality, like heaving doom metal riffs transposed onto what would otherwise appear the most comical of children’s instruments. Bubbling below and lurching above the surface throughout is producer Deep Burial, whose compositions flit variously between mind-bending heavy dub and ambient hip hop.
Read the full review at Thumped.