Review: Cabin Boy Jumped Ship – 'Pathways'

“I’m a wolf!“. Its comes across as one thing and, just a you are finding the comfort zone, it becomes another, and smashes you persistently between the earholes. It’s persistent like British rain, or metalcore bands with unfeasibly protracted names, but its good. Very good, in fact. For those of you that hate surprises, I’ll let you in on a secret. That secret is that the electronica is a gimmick. The band needs electronica the same way that some politicians need a tax accountant. Its just unnecessary, but as gimmicks go, its a blinder.   This is an eight track EP, which I’ve already mentioned, but important to point out that there are three keyboard interludes on here that sound like someone has a fixation on both Massive Attack and Roberto Concina. That aside, the electronica component is largely nullified, read brutalised, by the onslaught of driving metal that moves the keyboard to the start of the song, or as a drone to underpin the rasping guitars. The keyboard, and they way it’s all stitched together, does sound very much like ‘That’s The Spirit’, so they are probably on the mark. The first full track is, ‘Dead Ends’ and its a corker of a track. The intensity is there, and the guitars just blast through this, all underpinned with insane drumming. The keyboard is there, but it’s background, and not the all-encompassing, dubstep-inspired monster that I was expecting, although as a Pendulum survivor, it wouldn’t go amiss. We slide into, ‘The New World’ with a trippy little bing-bong on the keys then it’s straight metalcore, all gang vocals and jangling guitar. It’s a simple concept; Write a good song, play it well, and put in as much feeling as you can. The vocals go up a notch from clean, to unclean and the growling. There’s a little keyboard bridge that wouldn’t be out of order at an Ibiza foam party, but its well put together and gets back to the core. Groove with growl. We fade into an interlude then rise into, ‘Pathways And Promises’, which is my favourite track on the album because its a bouncing metal-fest from the off. We have the odd clean vocal break, all scored with the underpinning of electronics, but this is a pounding track. Dirty, aggressive, and questioning. A great track. From here, we stagger into ‘Waste Away’, which is probably the most traditional metalcore track on the EP, and the first time that the keyboards really become noticeable. They don’t add melody, they just distort and add to the chaos. Through another interlude we finish with, ‘Replace The Hate’ which sounds the most ‘manufactured’ and least natural track on the album. More styles than you can follow, it also seems to have a different mix than the rest of the EP. The keyboards come to the fore here and add melody, rather than just buzz. An angry little track track, with plenty of breaks and attitude. I’m always attracted to bands that try something fresh and push the boat out, and that’s the main reason to get your paws on this. They are taking the risk, so why shouldn’t you? Give it a go, but Cabin Boy Jumped Ship, more electronica. There’s an opportunity out there. Review: Craig Grant]]>

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