Earthship: Iron Chest

Former Ocean men hit dry land with a bang

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Formed back in 2010 by former The Ocean tub-thumper Jan Oberg and featuring the same band’s Robin Staps on second guitar, it’s tempting to reach for obvious comparisons between the two bands – but not necessarily appropriate.

While on Iron Chest, the German four-piece’s second album – coming as it does in the wake of 2011’s Exit Eden – there are certainly comparisons to be drawn, most notably between the fluid and otherworldly Boundless Void, in truth if The Ocean are a quantum physicist gradually parting company with his sanity as he grapples with subatomic unreality, Earthship are that same physicist on the bus home doing nothing more strenuous than a particularly difficult Sudoku puzzle while losing his shit to early-era Crowbar.

They are placed firmly in the brutality over complexity camp; Brimstone, especially, could have been plucked from any of the first three LPs from Kirk Windstein’s chargers. It’s not all chest-caving sludge however, there’s dexterity here too, looking at times like they’ve found what Baroness lost after First/Second while on Silver Decay they’ve nicked Hawkwind’s Moog.