Artist info


Indie, Rock

band members

d.a.calf, ross walker bannerman, joe salvati, paul thomas raine


Bright Eyes, Bowie & Eno, Broken Social Scene


Based in Melbourne, Australia, The Book of Ships is the current project of producer d.a.calf., formerly of Mousemoon (Rubber Records) and current member of Single Twin. The debut album Dark Continent, Cold Century, recorded in a disused bowling club in Newcastle, NSW and mixed at BJB in Sydney by acclaimed producer Scott Horscroft (The Panics, The Presets, silverchair) is a dense sonic journey through layers of interweaving angular guitars, addictive synth riffs and beautiful multi-part vocal harmonies. Whiffs of Eno, Mercury Rev and Broken Social Scene permeate through the record, coupled with the bombastic epicness of M83. The whole thing is bound together by lyrics that lie somewhere between Conor Oberst and Antony Hegarty. They lament lost love and lost innocence; the search for meaning and purpose in anxious post-modern times, all of which is tied together with Dave Fridmann-esque production. It moves from melancholia to outright disdain in the blink of an eye. The first single Broken Glass In My Mouth (Words are lines that turn to) deals with the wasteland that was the twentieth century and how it was possible for an age of great artistic and social experimentation to co-exist with such great physical carnage, asking the question whether the two begat each other. It’s a frenetic track driven by swirling layers of reverberating guitars, pointy synths and relentless drums. Over this dense mass, a desperately delivered narrative concerned with decay and hope, progress and regression weaves, culminating in four part vocal harmonies in the final throes of the piece. Our debut album 'Dark Continent, Cold Century' is out now on nomachinethinking through Vitamin. Available at good record stores, & the iTunes store. ............................................................ What the dudes & dudettes are saying: A wild explosion of melody, snare drums and guitars. Eno-inspired controlled chaos. Here come The Book of Ships! - Vijay Khurana – TRIPLE J None of these tracks feels like anything you’ve heard before. There’s quirks and nuances wrapped in lush instrumentation and it’s an album that continues to unravel with repeated listens. 4.5/5 - Album of the Month - Nick Milligan – REVERB Song after song of endlessly replayable, perfect pop. Perhaps the most astounding aspect of Dark Continent, Cold Century, is the ease with which it presents itself as being so tremendously accomplished. There is a wealth of brilliantly executed music present on this simultaneously complex and unassuming record - every note is pitched perfectly and every transition is smooth and effortless. 8.5/10 - THE AU REVIEW A righteous dark-rock-done-pop, Broken Glass In My Mouth is the kinda song that Carlos from Interpol would give you herpes to. It’s a spangled charger, that’s at once as poppy as Stars, yet as gloomy as The Smiths... Fucking beautiful. - BEAT This record doesn't walk in a straight line by any means. Like a deliciously spacious apartment, not too big that you'll get lost but just big enough to let you have a mid afternoon psyche out. Musically there's the rushing guitars of The Flying Nun bands of the 80s, a Broken Social Scene shambolic vibe and Grizzly Bear's grandiose arrangement, all the while being something very Australian. Best shit I've heard in ages! - Luke Rodely FBI RADIO/ONLY AN EARTHLING Half of this record is speedy, percussive rock with low key vocals. The other half just slows right down and does great big soundscapes. Both styles have a background complexity of harmony, rhtyhm and instrumentation that occasionally spills out into the foreground. Never less than interesting and often really great. - 4ZzZ (Brisbane) A rushing, indie-rock track that brings to mind the dynamic buzz of folks like Broken Social Scene, old school Decoder Ring, and…I want to say Superchunk but it’s not quite right. Sweeping-indie-firecracker-rock? - THE VINE [An] astonishing live presence… One of the most impressive units on the local landscape. - Nick Milligan – REVERB While there’s no denying the dreamy grandeur of this record, it doesn’t sound like any other band. - MESS + NOISE


Reviewed by Dave Ruby Howe Dave Ruby Howe

15 Oct 2012

Triple J

This is G D great. Wish I'd cottoned on a couple of years ago but hey, better late than never.

This is G D great. Wish I'd cottoned on a couple of years ago but hey, better late than never.