What makes the hardcore album? Back in the early 80s, hardcore was a combination of horrid musical ability, an extreme hatred towards the system, and a representation of the ‘other side’ of life as we know it. Jump forward to the twenty-first century and hardcore has taken on a new set of clothes but still remains, at the core, a perfect joining of angst, aggression and still represents the grittier walks of life. Hardcore changes people; it divides yet continually brings individuals into a tight-knit family, where some might not have any to being with. Hardcore is personal; shows can be summed up by a mixture of blood, sweat, and tears with a level of sisterhood and brotherhood not felt in any other concert. But hardcore also has as message, a message that differs from every band that represents the genre. Though inaccessible, difficult to comprehend, and violent right from birth, hardcore brings an ethos to the population that sticks with people for the rest of their lives.
"If you close your eyes, never let it get inside, you’d still have to hide."
We all face our demons one way or another. Those opening words screamed on the first track ‘Give Up
’ by Sinking Ships
front man, Danny Hesketh, sets the tone right from the very beginning off of their sophomore, and final, album Disconnecting
. Hailing from the Great Northwest, Sinking Ships carries a different type of approach to hardcore then their fellow city-mates Champion. Seattle is not a pretty place to live in, it is a bleak, dark place that stays perpetually cold, damp and rains more times than most would admit. It’s truly hard to find any type of positivity and Sinking Ships tackles this head-on. Even the album cover is quite reminiscent of how Seattle is; giving the listener a taste of what it is like to live in this city.
Stylistically, Sinking Ships is predominantly a hardcore/punk band, mixing your basic three-chord approach to hardcore, but it is the slight mixture of melody that makes Sinking Ships such an impressive band that stands out in the genre. Sinking Ships represent the very best of modern hardcore, but not just those who favor only the dissonant heavy sound that seems to be the norm in todays hardcore scene. Disconnecting offers a wide variety of differing types of subgenres, from the distinctive punk sounds found on ‘Auburn
’ to the heavily melodic ‘The Next Time I Go
’ to the final song ‘Wait
’ which is so sonically similar to Modern Life is War, you’d swear it was straight off of Witness.
Approaching hardcore from a different path, while still keeping to the base line approach to their music, Sinking Ships crafted a near perfect album in their 06 release Disconnecting. Any negatively that could be pointed out is that they never truly got to the potential that they could have achieved. Like nearly every other band, hardcore or not, that bases itself in Seattle, Sinking Ships finally called it quits in early 08, a true tragedy for hardcore. To this day, with the exception of maybe Champion or Betrayed, no other hardcore band has made waves as heavily felt as Sinking Ships. A true gem for the genre, Disconnecting is one of those albums that you keep close, easily up there with Witness, Aggression or Travels. While not quite a masterpiece, this is an album that should be remembered for accurately portraying an up close image to third wave modern hardcore.
"Confused and searching for so long that sometimes its not just all you know, it becomes everything you are.
Trying to make some sense of a life spent searching aimlessly, when for us, this is everything."