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The Sinking Ships

The Sinking Ships are now the third mind-melding effort from the Holiday Flyer/California Oranges rock machine. Like a musical Mr. Potato Head, they mix and match, and match and mix, until they find the sound they are looking for. Katie Haley (Holiday Flyer) is showcased on vocals this time around with Verna Block (Holiday Flyer, Beanpole, Rocketship, California Oranges) singing harmony and plucking bass. Twin brothers Ross (California Oranges) and Matt Levine (California Oranges) provide guitar, percussion, and trombone. These Sacramento, California scensters are the antithesis of the raw indie rock sound that has been flooding our headphones for the past few years. In fact, The Sinking Ships seem to be working hard at finding a sound that would beg indie rockers to hand over their studded white belts and start dancing post haste.

Out of Key Harmony is a collection of pop rock gems that are reminiscent of the infectious sound that is the trademark of the likes of Matthew Sweet or The Pretenders. In a polite, saccharine voice, Haley sings primarily about struggling relationships but you can't really feel her pain in the midst of all that bouncy power pop. Her voice is oddly similar to Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and is, by far, the most attractive attribute of this release. The band does a good job of providing a structure for the vocal work and rarely does it steal the attention away from Haley's voice.

The Sinking Ships stick to what they're good at with Out of Key Harmony and further polish the power pop sound that they have established with their other projects. With this release they have proved to us that power pop still lives on in the hearts of music lovers.

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