You know, I’m not really that impressed by what’s going on right now in Seattle punk, as far as bands go. Seattle is where I live and I’m not being negative, just honest. I’ve got plenty of other things to keep me busy, so if a good band wants to come my way, well, good for me. That’s just what happened when I got this Death By Steamship record in the mail to review. Death By Steamship play a sort of jazzy, post-hardcore that goes from jaggedly-meandering to a more straightforward punk. The album starts out with “Digital Relay,” a timely, punk-as-fuck song about how technology is making us ignorant, detached from our environments, and stupid. One could not ask for a better written and timelier song, at a time when even the punks can’t resist Big Brother Facebook. The ebbing to pounding style of the band really draws the listener in. The vocals, I feel I must mention, are quite similar to Murder City Devils, and that might not serve them well, being that they’re from Seattle and all. But Jason’s vocals are only similar in cadence and vigor. They lack the grandiosity and theatrical goofiness of M.C.D. Otherwise, they sound quite different, and I would, actually, recommend Death By Steamship if you want a more empowering alternative than the Situationist-jerking-off-to-a noir-film, bad-boy-fantasy style of Murder City Devils. (I like them, too, but c’mon.) Anyway, besides the vocals, D.B.S don’t have any other similarities to those Seattle darlings. They represent a life some of us actually live, the stress of not knowing where the next paycheck is coming from and the small pleasure of being drunk on the bus or wandering the streets tripping balls. This is sincere and relevant shit and, hopefully, they’ll be the next show that I go to, that is, if I’m not too busy scrambling for my next paycheck or wandering the streets tripping balls.
–Craven (Whoa! Boat, whoaboatrecords.com)