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What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor? – The Good Ship Review


A Review of Avast! Wretched Sea by The Good Ship

Ration My Rum! Something of a Post Office Box mix up courtesy of the local Postmaster meant this CD didn’t land in my hands much sooner, but I’m happy it did.

The Good Ship are no doubt Australia’s newest exponents of maritime Indie Folk. More fun than keel-hauling Angus & Julia Stone under the hull of a heavily barnacled clipper – maybe with the Able Seaman Nick Cave releasing the rope of one side, and Bosun Shane McGowan pulling up the rope on the other under the watchful eye of the Captain Eugene Hütz.

Avast! Wretched Sea is subtitled as a work of Undulating tales of woe and intrigue. Indeed they are.

After many months at sea, we approach port with A Harbour Fair, a rousing anthem to gambling, grog and loose women.  Frantic fiddles and homebound hollering set the pace in this slick shanty.

Spanish horns and straight vocal delivery subtlety mask the true bawdiness of A Few of My Favourite Flings, showing that one can still have a girl in every port.

The demonic domains of Davy Jones Locker are captured in the rocking three-step Sea Monster, over the skeletal jangle of dancing castanets.

6000 Cocks is a tragic ‘working girls’ lament with a catchy sing-along tune, though you may want to be careful where you sing it. Public transport is not a good idea.

Cougar culture and the tragedy of mutton-dressed-as-lamb is pondered in a country-ballad-like 18 When You’re 44. Lock up your mothers…

You’ll have a tea-bagging good time with Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips, and a pick up line guaranteed to either get you laid or arrested.

The waltzing Tavern Song is a rollicking good folk tune that is a wonderful musical advocate for extended trading hours down at your local.

Slow and wistful, No Shortage of Company opens the bloodied and broken heart of the rejected. Misery indeed loves company.

The previous tune is almost a segue into Bury Me, a tune dressed with moments of rousing spiritual gospel, with counterpoints of delta blues fatalism.

These lads and lasses of Good Ship must be sailors because the next song, I Can Make Her Laugh– full of beautiful melodies and harmonies, is also replete with sodomy and pearl necklaces. You heard me.

Cut Off My is a psychopathically sordid love tale with wailing violin and sinister military snare, no doubt deserving of a Tarantino film clip of its own. Being stuck in the middle is easy with no limbs.

Last Song of the Night brings our journey to an end, the thankless job of a musician in front of an uncaring audience, disappearing slowly into their beer glasses in melancholy and indifference.  Whatever happened to the Piano Man?

Avast! is now out on Autumn Recordings and a selection of tunes available for a listen at The Good Ships myspace site.

Upcoming gigs include

3 Oct 2010      Peregian Originals     Peregian Beach, Qld, AUSTRALIA
8 Oct 2010     BAM Festival     Peaks Crossing, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
29 Oct 2010     The Troubadour     Brisbane, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
20 Nov 2010    Grace Darling     Melbourne, VIC, AUSTRALIA
21 Nov 2010     The Tote Melbourne     Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Go support some local Australian music ye Lily-livered landlubbers!

Posted by Jonathan on Aug 23rd 2010 | Filed in Art,Culture,Music,Reviews | Comments (0)