The Tall Ships: Paint Lines on Your Glasses Look Up at the Stars and Play Them As Notes
The Tall Ships aren’t about those large schooners and old boats that dock in various North American harbors every year. Rather, they are a heady, highbrow band that uses various winds, reeds, and basic rock instruments to weave very intricate, precious arrangements. This is evident on the opening "Deconstructing Company", which has a dreary tone before the song revs up, bringing to mind something Tweedy and Wilco might be doing now or in the near future. This also comes to mind on the slightly country-tinged "Faith Of My Stars". The wordy "For Your Bird You Will Have No Other Model Than That of a Bat" winds another hypnotic, off-kiltered blueprint that is far from mainstream. Bassist Kyle Conwell and guitarist Steve Kuhn both share vocal duties on the pleasing but again challenging "3rd Sound Helium". Despite the downer-like tone, there are also a few unsettling moments during "Throw Out The Tongues" that grabs your attention. The group hit pay dirt with the mid-tempo "Radio Presets", which slowly packs some punch as does the infectious and moody "Sender Under Weight" and "Hand Sucking Thumb". Not formulaic by any stretch, The Tall Ships sail on a course that is equally pleasing, stimulating, and defiant against any traditional rock norms.