Maritime We, The Vehicles

[Flameshovel; 2006]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: indie rock
Others: The Promise Ring, Nada Surf

OMG, who let these elephants into the room? Look! There's one that looks like two of the dudes from The Promise Ring. Oh My! There's another that looks like the low-end of The Dismemberment Plan. Oh, NOOO! A particularly ugly one that looks like it might be a poorly received debut album! Fortunately, I think that I'll be able to ignore these unwelcome guests, as The Promise Ring and debut Maritime album managed to stay out of my path, and the bass on We, The Vehicles is light years away from anything on D-Plan albums. So where does that leave the album in question? In a pretty solid place. I've listened to my fair share of P-Ring-era emo, and I can safely say that We, The Vehicles shouldn't put off anyone frightened by the genre, as it doesn't fit in. Rather, what we have here is moody, melancholy indie rock buoyed by a light-as-air rhythm section. Check album highlight "Tearing Up the Oxygen." Sure, its melody could carry some theatrical dynamics and crushing power chords, but instead it is given a light touch and some quietly driving drums, making it a strong contender for a breezy, but melancholy summer anthem. In fact, you should put it on a mixtape right now. I just did, I swear! Though Maritime don't vary the formula much on We, The Vehicles, the strength of the songwriting makes the songs easily distinguishable from each other. The only misstep comes on "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts," where the fellas work up a pretty solid dance groove only to undercut it with a weak vocal hook. Nonetheless, if you are looking for light-as-air indie rock doused in melancholy, you won't do better than We, The Vehicles.

1. Calm
2. Tearing Up the Oxygen
3. People, the Vehicles
4. Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts
5. We Don't Think, We Know
6. No One Will Remember You Tonight
7. Young Alumni
8. Don't Say You Don't
9. German Engineering
10. Twins
11. Protein and Poison