Repeater has been around for a long time. For a band that began so long ago and the fact that they are continuing to exist with their original lineup for eight years is a remarkable feat. I'm not sure if it's long enough to warrant a Wikipedia page, but these guys have one. They've been just on the edges of my radar for the last eight years as well and this is the first chance I've had to really give them a good listen.
Their last album was quite a raucous affair. Vocals were full of grit, the rhythm section was driving and the guitars were sufficiently overdriven. In order to get a bit of context for the EP that I'm reviewing here, I took a good listen to We Walk From Safety and I must say that I wish I had paid attention sooner. Repeater is making quality music. Their sound on their new EP Golden Ships, however, is quite a bit more sedate than on the album that preceded it. The grit and distortion have been replaced with melody and ambience.
Right from the start, there is decidedly more reverb happening. It's done tastefully, though, as a tool rather than a gimmick. The title track lends itself to an atmospheric feel and that's exactly what was captured in the recording. I even struggled to hear the slightest bit of overdrive on the guitars. They aren't squeaky clean, but they're definitely smoother than on previous releases. "1000 Cranes" picks up the tempo a bit, but the feel of the song is still quite mellow. It almost reminds me of The Smiths. The melody sounds very much influenced by Morrisey and that is definitely a good thing. That influence continues on "Open Air,” though that song is a bit more spacious sounding than "1000 Cranes.” The guitar melody that kicks off "Chrome" is just about the most beautiful thing I've heard all week. The closing instrumental completes the EP perfectly, with a piano riff and a string section. Every album should end this way.
Golden Ships is great for listening to while writing late at night. It's got just enough happening to keep you awake and moving but not so much that you feel like you're going to end up ripping your eyeballs out because you're at war with yourself over whether to go to bed.
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