Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Album Preview + Concert Preview: Hospital Ships at Mad Planet, Milwaukee, June 15

As summer kicks in, the desire to do more with our spare time becomes more and more dire with each passing week. This desire is steeped not only in the events, but in music as well. It is statistically proven that people are more receptive to new things and ideas in the summer months (full disclosure, I just made that up because it sounds good and correct). Well this Saturday, Milwaukee residents are in luck because they have the opportunity to conquer both desires with one fell swoop, as local music venue/dance club plays host to Kentucky's Hospital Ships.

Hospital Ships started, like a lot of indie music does nowadays, from a bedroom. Originally Jordan Geiger's bedroom project molded while he was working with other bands (Minus Story, Shearwater). Deciding to commit to the band, and enlisting the help of a full band, Hospital Ships has formed to be a touring and studio recording band. Their debut album, Destruction In Yr Soul, is due out this summer, and the group is going off on their first headlining tour.

That tour rolls through Milwaukee on Saturday June, 15, and I feel like there is potential for something great to be contained within the walls of Mad Planet that night. And lucky for me, the band has put their album up on Pitchfork Advance, so you don't just have to take my word for it.

The songs held within sophomore effort, Destruction In Yr Soul are very rousing, to say the least. Geiger's voice is almost a spot on early-Ben Gibbard (and I hate to say this, because I actually cannot stand when fans make these comparisons), and delivers a sound that sounds like if Death Cab never gave up on the beauty they created with The Photo Album.

Hospital Ships focuses on creating alternative indie music, and the group delivers very well. The songs are of good length (nine songs, totaling just under 45 minutes), and feature a great deal of depth instrumentally yet the compositions never lull the listener into a state of boredom. And although this may sound like a hefty list of back-handed compliments, I actually mean all of this in the best possible way. This album is incredibly impressive, and even more so being that it comes from roots that we've pulled from the ground and seen before... ad nauseam, I might add.

"Come Back To Life" is an amazing closing-song-serving-as-an-opening-song, and "If It Speaks" (streamed above) comes forward as a fantastic means of introduction to Geiger and his surrounding band. Both songs are epically driving and can remind the listener of not only garage rock but psychedelic and folk as well. Many of the songs, like the album's centerpiece "Lost Folk Song", follow a structure that results in a whimsical and climactic conclusion, an aspect that should translate to a great live show.

I honestly think that this band has the potential to blow an audience away, and Milwaukee hosts a prime opportunity for music nerds to really catch on to something good. Not to mention that the band is serving as support for locally-housed/nationally-recognized greats The Fatty Acids and Jaill. And for a meager $6 I'd say it'd be worth it if Hospital Ships were a stand-alone act.

Destruction In Yr Soul is due out June 18th, via Graveface records.

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