The Black Ships prove that the past doesn’t have to be dead and buried with new single ‘Dead Empires’.
This band from Saratoga Springs is here to show us that this part of New York is the new breeding ground for American dark romance. “When thinking of the scene here I am reminded of the early 90’s scene in and around London, the scene that celebrates itself I believe it was called and included the groups Stereolab, Lush, Blur, Suede, Elastica,” explains frontman John Gill. “Bands around here tend to be friends and help each other out with stuff rather than form rivalries, but that’s not to say things aren’t competitive, bands are always competitive to some degree.”
To say that ‘Dead Empires’ is a track influenced by the dark side of 80s pop would be an understatement. Gill’s vocals sound scarily like Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan and the guitar riff could be Joy Division. Obviously when you start making comparisons to groundbreaking artists like these, a band will inevitably disappoint or simply be labelled copycats. However, if you (like me) are riding high on the current wave of synth-pop releases, you could do worse than pick up the album when it’s released on 4 December.
The Black Ships may sound like they’ve just sailed straight out of the past but they’re a band anchored in today.