Ship and Sail - From Seeds Review

Photography: Abby Recker

Photography: Abby Recker

A little fun, and also a little sad is the tagline from Ship & Sail’s Bandcamp - and the Michigan natives are definitely that. The melancholy, blissful mixture of Americana, Folk and Indie melt Ship & Sail down for listeners, they want you gooey, they want your right on the verge of knowing, experiencing. They are the haunting of our minds - from loss, from laughter, from sheer emotion. They bring to the table something I haven’t heard in a while, something that (sometimes) only bedroom pop bands can get right - but, we’ll save that for later.

Beginning from a song-writing exercise, Colin Haggerty (Vocals & Guitar) began Ship & Sail’s first EP, Even From A Dying Tree, The Worry Bird Sings. It has now grown into something that even Haggerty did not expect at first. Mixed and mastered by Doug Gallo at AGL Sounds in New Jersey, From Seeds is, according to Haggerty, “the most important release I’ve ever had and has been a blast to play live.” Since the release Ship & Sail has shared the stage with the likes of John Nolan (Taking Back Sunday, Straylight Run) and Breathe Owl Breathe, while also performing as a four-piece, a soon to be six-piece, and will also be doing a three-piece acoustic-folk outfit. All the while continuing to play solo.

Check out the tracklist below to follow along!

Album Artwork by Brijana Bondy

Album Artwork by Brijana Bondy

From Seeds Tracklist:
1. Lynda
2. A Wish, A Lie
3. Fix
4. Windowsill
5. Bed to Stay
6. Hope
7. Call it Quits
8. Nails
9. Maggie
10. From Seeds

After the death of his Mother, Ship & Sail began comprising an album that moves slowly, irrigating every moment it encapsulates. From Seeds is the capsule in which they live - the album, an impressive full-length that breathes feeling and lyricism. Opening track, “Lynda” drops the listener immediately into the sound of a voice - familiar, but far away.

Haggerty’s sound is one that jostles against his instrumentals. The deep, gritty voice against a melodic, slow moving undertone creates an atmosphere that gives a sense of knowing. Ship & Sail want you to know what they’re thinking, because it’s things you’ve thought before, felt before, seen before. Love, longing, fear, anxiety - all topics that From Seeds touches upon, thoughtfully & fully aware. One track that really does this for myself, as a listener, is “Call It Quits.”

This album takes it’s time, and instinctively, it makes it feel hard to separate. I understand the necessity, the artistry, the wanting; however, 10-tracks that meditate around a similar sound that includes instrumentals, little variation in vocal performance, and lyricism (while beautiful poetic, and one of my favorite parts) it can feel lengthy and tired by completion. I wonder how I would feel about these tracks if, instead, they were layered throughout different compilations with tracks that bounced off of them, rather than swept them all together.

That being said, my favorite track is “A Wish, A Lie.” Arguably, the most upbeat track on the record, this track feels just right. The beat hits in the right spots with the lyrics, the twanging of the guitar makes it feel like a journey from beginning to end - and, that’s what it is. A journey, a moment of flurrying feelings. It felt sweet, sincere, and secure for a moment - as if the album could look upon it’s creator and say, “take a look, this is what we are!”

Again, the lyricism of this album is the strongest, hardest hitting aspect of From Seeds. The imagery, the methodology, the quickness of it all - like the severing of ties - hits hard. This album is for feeling, for being in the moment of feeling, and for appreciating how stinkin’ good a guitar sounds all by itself. Ship & Sail take their time to craft, to emote and be human. From Seeds will do the same, and for that I am thankful. It reminds me of rainy summer days where the ground is hot and steaming, and the sky is dark but, somehow, there is still pale yellow light all around you.

Moving forward, I am eager to see how Ship & Sail will sound with more members, with different tracks, ideas, emotions. This beginning is valid and important in solidifying a common ground between artist & listener, and now that we’re here - what’s next? I guess we’ll see! Until then, check out Ship & Sail’s social media links down below, and listen to From Seeds if you need a good album to feel things with!

Keep reading to find out more new & exciting stuff, and thanks for choosing The Hook!

Ship & Sail: Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

**All biography information thanks to Brijana Bondy**

Andross - Recidivist Review

Indie Punk Rock is well defined by Andross, a Philadelphia four piece, who are celebrating the recent release of their third full-length album, Recidivist. Having just played one of our Hook Showcases on April 28th, we might be a little biased, but Andross is one of the best bands around right now - really exciting up & coming band stuff, ya know.

Released on May 19th, Recidivist was produced, engineered, mixed, mastered by Kevin Folk at Warm Body Studios, includes 7 additional vocals, and of course couldn't be created without band members Tim Balch (vocals, guitars, acoustic guitar, keyboards), Chris Waters (guitars, backing vocals), Drew Grahn (bass), and Tom Brucker (drums, percussion, backing vocals). The 10-track album is a hard hitting, fast paced collection that adds a lasting impression to Andross' already impressive discography.

Check out the tracklist below to keep up with us!

Recidivist Tracklist:
1. Recidivist
2. The Consensual Revolution
3. Moonracer
4. I Don't Want Yr Money
5. Violence 1995
6. King Coyote
7. Needa
8. Pinko
9. Got a Gun, Agnes
10. Inventor and Human Dynamo


Recidivist is a fast paced album that relies on heavy hitting riffs contrasting against the voice of Balch who has inherited this half-sung, half-screamed lyricism. Opening track, "Recidivist" immediately slinks the listener into the world of Andross - a fast-paced, hungry space for you to get lost into. Some of these tracks move so fast, it's easy to listen to the album in it's entirety without realizing.

One of my favorite tracks off of the EP is "Violence 1995." This track, in comparison to the four tracks that come before it, sounds full. Musically, this track really brings in what I want from Andross. A lot of the tracks feel hinged on punk and indie vibes, but they never thoroughly stick to one - which definitely isn't a complain, but it can make the tracks feel similar to one another.

"King Coyote" is such an interesting stand out track for this album. Mostly acoustic, more traditionally "indie," but honestly it reminded me more so of folk-y rock? It's sort of a surprise when it comes on, but after many listen-throughs, I've decided that Andross' tactic for Recidivist is one that highlights their ability to shape shift. I usually go through every track and break it down, but I think that's something the listener should do. This album will surprise you, confuse you, make you sad, make you happy. This album is a light in the dark, and I am so unbelievably excited to see what Andross has in store.

Recedivist is 10-tracks of hard work and love from Andross, and that sweats through each track as you follow along. In comparison to their last big release, These Are The Giants We Know, seems a much more post-hardcore collection than Recidivist, especially instrumentally, not to mention the variety. Don't sleep on this one. Check out a bandcamp stream of "Violence 1995" while you're here.

As we said above, (maybe we're gloating), Andross is a Hook favorite, and you'd be legit silly to not check these guys out. If you're into anything at all we've said, then definitely stay up to date on all Andross news by checking out their social media links down below! Andross is Philly's force to be reckoned with. 

Andross: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp

steve. - Boo-Shemi Review

New Brunswick, NJ back at it again with the music talent - and we've always just been along for the ride. Peep trio, steve. - bringing us right back to our basement roots, and let's be real, we're happy to be there.

steve. is comprised of members Eric (ex. Bird Hotel and Semiotics)on bass & vox, Zach (also in The Great Depression) on drums & vox, and Kyle (Wisteria, Semiotics) on guitar & vox. The band's been around for a little over a year, and back in November they released their debut EP, Boo-shemi. The 6-track EP was produced by Kyle O'Connor and Nicholas Rapon, engineered by John Naeder and Ben Luckman, and mastered by Rachel Lightner. All songs written and performed by steve., and ddditional vocals included Nicholas Rapon, Seth Blissenbach, and Ally Rose!

And, if you're asking us (which, you are, right?) that's a bunch of names that sound like they're going to make a really stellar EP. Spoiler alert: they did. Check out the tracklist below so you can follow along!

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Artwork: Vanessa Lasky

Boo-Shemi Tracklist:
1. TF Happened to that Miguel Song?
2. SEGA Memecast
3. Soft Serve
4. Heart Attack on Titan
5. Purp Durp
6. Foney Hawk

Boo-Shemi's tracks are on the shorter side - but they fit with their up-beat, whimsical stylized lyricism and vocal upkeep. 

The EP begins with "TF Happened to that Miguel Song," which sets the tone for the rest of the EP in certain ways. One of which being that upbeat instrumental sound we were talking about, and the other about stylizing the vocals - reminiscent of our favorite DIY groups - the opening voice, "Sitting in my room alone / while you're out with all my friends / telling them how much you hate me / and how much you'll never miss me."  A theme that follows through the rest of the album with tracks like "Soft Serve," and "Foney Hawk."

Our favorite track, though, is definitely "Purp Durp," because of a few things. One of which being it's differentiation in sound then the previous or following tracks, and also the lyricism on this one is absolute perfection poetically. You should check out the bandcamp stream of it below, so you can hear what we're talking about too!

Overall, we're really digging this EP. It's quirky, fun, and fast paced - a nice teaser for maybe what can be expected from steve. in the new year! Either way, we're down for it - and we're down for all the great music coming out of NJ as of late, so thanks steve.

Definitely do check out Boo-Shemi, all six tracks are unique, personal and fun little compilations to croon over that girl you used to be into, or the self-depricating moments of early adulthood. Either way, check out steve.'s bandcamp and links down below for more!

steve.: Facebook // Bandcamp // Instagram // Twitter