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We, The Vehicles

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Album Review

Maritime's second album continues the low-key guitar pop shimmer of their debut, 2004's The Glass Floor. Several steps removed from the earnest emo anguish of their old outfits the Promise Ring (singer/guitarist Davey vonBohlen and drummer Dan Didier) and the Dismemberment Plan (bassist Eric Axelson), We, the Vehicles is a comparatively sunny effort, musically speaking. vonBohlen's guitars favor crisply strummed, melodic lines, fleshed out with occasional keyboards. The rhythm section is similarly clean, preferring a straight-ahead indie rock pulse with occasional detours like the ska-tinged "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts." The only hint of the bandmembers' former lives comes in the lyrics, which occasionally show flashes of the caustic wit and tendency towards mopery that was the hallmark of the Promise Ring even at their poppiest. If anything, the album might be slightly too slick, in much the same way that Death Cab for Cutie's Plans smoothed out a few too many of the group's quirks; it's not until "German Engineering," the third-from-last tune on this brief album, that vonBohlen sings in the familiar high-pitched whine (in the best possible sense of the word) that was his vocal trademark in the Promise Ring. Still, the songwriting is strong enough and the arrangements appealing enough that We, the Vehicles has a quiet pop charm all its own.


Formed: 2003 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed out of the ashes of the Promise Ring and the Dismemberment Plan, indie rock outfit Maritime came by way of Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee. Formed in 2003, Maritime originally featured Davey von Bohlen (vocals/guitar), Dan Didier (drums), and Eric Axelson (bass). With an earnest pop sound that tapped into the sandy-toned melodies of Elephant 6 and classic punk hooks, Maritime released their debut album, Glass Floor, in 2004. Arriving in 2006, We, the Vehicles marked their first release for...
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We, The Vehicles, Maritime
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