I don’t know about you, partner, but I met the fine people of Maritime thanks to the AV Club. Every week, whenever I watched a band spin a song on its head and create their own version, that tack-a-tack-tack-TANG! chord progression from the magnificent ‘It’s casual’ filled me with joy.
Who were these people? How do the rest of their tracks sound like? Got my hands on their stuff, chased a few references and found they were in the same taxa as The Promise Ring, Cap’n Jazz and Decibully. Milwaukee represent!
Although ‘It’s casual’ has embedded itself into my feelings (as it deserves so), the first thing you feel after drilling through Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones is that the peppy urgency of ‘It’s casual’ is nowhere to be found. And that’s great. Why go back to a well when you have an ocean of ideas? ‘Nothing is forgot’ has urgency in its subtle ways: the slide guitar, the spots of organ and its relaxed feeling of peaceful Midwestern rock. A strong start.
The term “pop” gets a much maligned rep from the budding music fan and the hardcore rocker, but if there’s an argument for well constructed pop, Maritime may have a few solid leads for you. ‘Satellite Love’ goes for a slight The Cure vibe, with the synth bits, handclaps and breezy strumming. ‘Love you in the dark’ offers a jaunty ballad, akin to an early October drive through mountain ranges. The atmosphere might be chilly, but it’s relaxing and beautiful to just wander through the mist.
There are two particular moments where Maritime‘s musical strengths come together like a plan by the A-Team. ‘War Tattoos’ introduces a few glitches into the pop and rock equation that was once balanced. The irradiating isotopes slowly decay with each minute of ‘War Tattoos’. You can almost taste the longing created by the track’s brilliant musical composition. ‘When the Bone Moon dies’, the other stand-out moment, looses itself in a sea of harmonies, distortions and catchy “oh, oh, ohs!” It’s breezy and leaves a fresh aftertaste in an album filled with contrasts that intertwine.
Maritime took their sweet time with Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones and all I can think is: time well spent. Just like Bill & Ted‘s musical fine-tuning trip during the last minutes of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, the years were kind to the final product.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López
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