There was a time when music was listened to with your windows down while you cruised in your car with pride, arm hanging out the window and speakers ready to blow. This was done because the music you listened to made you feel cool. For those around you it made them feel cool. For those who saw you cruising, they wanted to be as cool as you.
For the Seattle based Mystery Ship, they’ve got their speakers chirping and they’re driving the coolest car. The release of their self-titled EP gives them permanent cruising rights.
The EP reeks of classic rock influences deeply rooted in a little bit Sabbath and a little bit Crazy Horse; much to their satisfaction I’m sure. These were the bands that, like most of us, spoke to us on a personal level. Mystery Ship encompasses the style, structure, and finesse laid out by the masters of rock before them. The four track EP is bursting with slick guitar licks, jamming bass riffs, distorted vocals and heavy drums to which you can easily roll down the window and jam.
Opening with “Lady From Alexandria” these Pac-Northwesterners dive head first into the rock. It is easily apparent where they’re headed with the essential rock style and composition. The heavy handed distorted guitar laid out by Josh Kupferschmid and Michael Wohl get your body rocking while Wohl belts out quintessential rock vocals. Adding the smashing beats by Travis Curry and ever-present, almost domineering bass licks by Alex Hagenah they’ve found a chemistry that works very well. The EP shifts seamlessly into the slower paced ballad like “Medusa.” The dark lyrics drift along with the instrumentals and leave you with an appreciation for their ability to be more than simply a one sound style. The closing track to the EP is “King Frog Blues;” a track which comes in at just over four minutes. It’s a little bit Blues, little bit Rock and a dash of early Nugent. Talk about saving the best for last. Crank your stereo up and open the windows, this is the track the world needs to hear.
Like any early EP it is not entirely tight nor without a few clunky feeling transitions, but that is the only thing I can say about it that points to anything other than solid rock. It is albums like this that will become collectables for the people who will join us in a few years, once they get a taste of the ship. Luckily for us, it is also on vinyl. I don’t think we could ask for more. If Mystery Ship has the ability to lay out four tracks like these this early on, take notice, they are going far.