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Kowloon Walled City – Container Ships

This oddly name quartet hail from San Francisco take their name from a densely populated, largely ungoverned settlement in Kowloon, Hong Kong; known for its brothels, casinos and opium dens, which was torn down in the early 90’s. With that in mind you can be assured that the music produced by this band is unsettling and walks the line close to uncomfortable.

This is the band’s 2nd full length release and has embedded itself in the camp of Swans, Fugazi and latter day Godflesh.

The track that stands out on first run is “Cornerstone”, which has a melancholic tone, a feeling of despair and a density that is brought about by the guitar tone. On its own the guitar tone bears little weight but mashed with the rest of the band produces an intensity which gives the sense of heaviness.

Vocalist Scott Evans comes across as a mix of Ian Mackaye (Fugazi) and Jimbob (Taint) as well as handling guitar duties. “50s Dad” is not subtle like the rest of the tracks but lays bare anger and frustration and also lets the band really rip with duelling guitars and pummelling drums.

This is a mood record and I think you would need to choose your playing time carefully as it is subtle enough to swing your mood in the wrong direction.  It has been 3 years since the debut and in that time they have released splits with the likes of THOU and have grown from a straight forward post metal sludge outfit into one of more depth but still retaining their elements of their original blueprint. The crowning stroke of genius is the low-fi production which suits the messages that the band is purveying.

Container Ships is out now via Brutal Panda Records

Line up

Ian Miller – Bass

Jeff Fagundes – Drums

Jason Pace – Guitars

Scott Evans – Vocals, Guitars

 

Tracklisting

  1. The Pressure Keeps Me Alive
  2. 50’s Dad
  3. Beef Cattle
  4. Container Ships
  5. Cornerstone
  6. Wrong Side Of History
  7. You Don’t Have Cancer

 

7/10

About Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.