Tag Archives: Ship Captain Crew

Top 15 Albums of 2014 (Liv’s List)

This year has been a whirlwind for music releases; week after week, new albums have appeared left and right. Some have been amazing, and some…well, some could have been better (but we won’t name names). Anyway, here are my picks for TOP 14 Best albums of 2014 (in no particular order).

 

15. Lowborn by Anberlin, released on July 22nd, 2014, via Tooth & Nail Records.

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What a fantastic final album; it’s bittersweet, but such a work of art. It’s emotionally charged, with stunningly well-written lyrics, not that I’d ever expect anything less from Anberlin.

14. Cavalier Youth by You Me At Six, released on January 26th, 2014, via Virgin Records.

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The band’s fourth studio album is every bit of fresh, original, and entrancing as their first. You Me At Six seem to get more personal on the album, and approach a more pop-rock sound than on their previous releases.

13. Restoring Force by Of Mice & Men, released on January 28th, 2014, via Rise Records.

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You know an album is good when a band goes the extra mile and records an acoustic version of it in its entirety. There is a raw power throughout Restoring Force, and the brilliance behind it is impossible to ignore. The departure from the modern standard brings ripples to the scene overall, but also showcases the growth and artistic development of each member in Of Mice & Men.

12. Head Or Heart by Christina Perri, released on April 1st, 2014, via Atlantic Records.

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Personally, I adore this album. Not as much as her Ocean Way Sessions album, but it’s definitely up there as far as favorites go. There is so much vulnerability, personality, and vocal power on this album, it demands to be replayed.

11. Vessels by Stellar Young, released on December 16th, 2014.

 

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As said in my review, “Vessels has a sound that I could only imagine the musical lovechild between Anberlin and fun. would. Stellar Young prove to be a wildly talented group, not that there was ever any doubt about that. The album is beautifully executed, with a powerhouse presence and an undoubtable quality to it. ”

10. In The Lonely Hour by Sam Smith, released on May 26th, 2014, via Capitol Records.

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There is so much beauty and power displayed on this album. Every song is enchanting in its own right, launching Sam Smith into the limelight as the true star he is. Finally, the soul has been brought back to pop music!

9. 1989 by Taylor Swift, released on , 2014 via Big Machine Records.

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As someone who has followed Taylor Swift’s career from the beginning, it amazes me to see the personal growth of the songstress, typically known for tearing down her exes and writing every girl’s breakup anthem. On 1989, Swift shows a more mature, poetic approach, with an original artistic flare. There’s something on this album for everyone, including some of the catchiest lines…and the best misheard lyric of 2014. “Gotta love those Starbucks lovers…”

8. Bloom & Breathe by Gates, released on October 21st, 2014, via Pure Noise Records.

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Wow. A debut album that has a cinematic, sophisticated sound to it, and is genuinely a work of art. Throughout the album, the band’s dedication to their craft, and their limitless talent, is obvious. I’m expecting a lot from these guys!

7. Imaginary Enemy by The Used, released on April 1st, 2014, via Hopeless Records.

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If you didn’t rock out to “Cry” at some point this year (especially you Octane Radio listeners/gym rats!), you’re lying to yourself. That single set the spark for this album, and once I listened, I couldn’t get enough. I daresay I’ve played this album more than I should have, but it was worth it.

6. May Death Never Stop You by My Chemical Romance, released on March 25th, 2014 on Reprise Records.

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Another bittersweet listen in 2014; it was brilliant in its musicality and as an overall summary of an amazing band’s career, but so hard to listen to knowing it was the last MCR release. As far as “greatest hits” albums go, I’m voting this as one of the best. “Fake Your Death” is such an anthemic, brilliant new track, and I love delving into my nostalgic side through the older tracks.

5. Forever Halloween (Deluxe Edition) by The Maine, released on June 17th, 2014, via Universal.

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Forever Halloween was amazing; the deluxe edition? INCREDIBLE. As I said in my review for Infectious Magazine, “While Forever Halloween was near-perfect as it was, it is difficult to imagine the album without these extra songs now that they’ve been heard. The Maine continue to show growth and excellence as the years wear on.”

4. Duality by Set It Off, released on October 14th, 2014, via Equal Vision Records.

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Brilliant, catchy tracks, all decorated with the originality of Set It Off. This reminds me of a heavier version of The Cab’s Symphony Soldier in that I just want to play the whole album again and again and again.

3. Talking In Your Sleep by The Cinema, released on December 16th, 2014 [independently released].

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I have so much respect for this album. First off, because it comes from the minds of two very talented men, but also because the album took two years to make, and was accomplished while they both worked on different coasts. Just…wow. It’s an incredible group of songs, and, best of all, it’s another release that avoided the cursed “sophomore slump.”

2. Slow Me Down by Sara Evans, released on March 11th, 2014, via RCA Nashville.

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Catchy as hell, with a poppy, uptempo tone that is impossible not to love. It’s a perfect driving/car-aoke record; I promise, you’ll sing your heart out to basically every song.

1. Heart On My Sleeve by Mary Lambert, released on October 14th, 2014, via Capitol Records.

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Mary Lambert can do no wrong. The songstress has crowds enchanted with her stunning vocals and her fearless way of tackling subjects people don’t want to talk about. With songs like “Secrets,” Lambert has resonated with listeners, and opened up a beautiful story.

 

 

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

House of Mercury by Ship Captain Crew

Fictionist by Fictionist

All That Gold by James and the Drifters

High Noon by Arkells

Get Hurt by The Gaslight Anthem

 

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REVIEW: Ship Captain Crew – “House of Mercury”

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“Notebooks” starts House of Mercury EP off without any introduction, with powerful vocals from Roger Moreno. Despite a pop-punk sound, there is weight in the overall tone and subject behind the track. Of course, it also consists of my favorite thing: group vocals. With catchy “oh oh oh”s, Ship Captain Crew entrances listeners and really brings the EP to life from the get-go.

The first single from the EP, “Talking To Your Ghost,” has a steady pace and a melodic flare that showcases a versatility that is hard to resist. There is a bitter edge to the song, almost in spite of its energetic tone. Mike Reda’s drumming is enviable, rounding out the instrumental style of the song. The breakdowns infused with breaks of soft instrumentation add depth overall and make the track stand out. It is easy to imagine this song being played at a concert, or even a set on Warped Tour (perhaps the last of the night on Main Stage), and I daresay that it would be the one I was most curious to see/hear.

Bringing back the power full-force, “Against The Waves” once again showcases booming vocals, accompanied by sliding, strong guitar instrumentation, thanks to Ben Darling and Angelo Sakellaropoulos. Focusing in on a darker theme, Ship Captain Crew shake up the definition of pop-punk, infusing the lovable and familiar group vocals with weighty overtones and an originality all their own.

“All I Know” is bass heavy from the start, giving the track a heavier feeling before launching into a higher energy, while still maintaining a darker theme and a sophisticated edge. Roy Coghill’s bass acts as the foundation for the piece. Strikingly filled with raw emotion, the song is a powerhouse that will knock listeners off of their feet and have them pressing the replay button for days.

House of Mercury finishes off with “I Was Born,” which has a similar tone to “Notebooks.” With high energy, well-timed breakdowns, and entrancing vocal melodies, the track acts as the perfect finale for the EP, only making me curious for what we can expect from Ship Captain Crew.

In many ways, there is a raw talent and electrifying energy behind Ship Captain Crew’s latest release, almost reminiscent to that of Go Radio. Within just five tracks, the pop-punk five-piece from Chicago will turn listeners into fans and keep them coming back for more. From their versatility and originality to their ability to tap into the humanity behind lyrics, it’s easy to see a group headed for greatness.

 

Be sure to head over to Ship Captain Crew’s Facebook page for more information. And check out their music video for “Notebooks” below:

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