Total Slacker: “Keep The Ships At Bay”

With “Keep The Ships At Bay,” Total Slacker wastes no time. As soon as the song begins, it goes into full force. In fact, it feels like the track has already been going on before you got there, like you arrived in the middle of their performance. The Brooklyn four piece is prepping the release of their sophomore LP Slip Away for early next year, and “Keep The Ships At Bay” shows a different side of the group compared to their first single, “Sometimes You Gotta Die.” On “Sometimes You Gotta Die,” the band was in total grunge mode, with Nirvana-esque melodies and noisy guitars. But with “Keep The Ships At Bay,” the group picks up the tempo and has a thicker, more atmospheric sound. The guitars are still loud and the drums are still in your face, but the song is more tightly structured and succinct. Its chorus of “If you make it through the night then you’ll be alright/It’s safer in your dream than in the world it seems/You make it through the day keep the ships at bay/You wanted all the answers, I will slip away,” feels like an old children’s song with its rhyming and simple melody. The placement of that type of chorus within the loud wash of heavy guitars is interesting and very effective.

You can download “Keep The Ships At Bay” for free over at Rolling Stone before Slip Away is released on February 11th via Black Bell Records.

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