Kowloon Walled City: Container Ships

Dark hymns to a bygone age of brutality

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Decaying, overcrowded and lacking in proper sanitation facilities, with high rates of drug abuse, gambling and prostitution and ‘law’ enforcement courtesy of the Triads, Hong Kong’s now long-dismantled Kowloon Walled City exposed life at its most harsh and precipitous.

Although as the name of a band you can’t say that it exactly rolls off the tongue, the brutal order from elemental chaos formula of their namesake accurately applies to this SanFran quartet.

Although not chaotic in an anarchic sense, by leasing space to dark, Neurosis-like bludgeons, the more melancholic moments of Panopticon-era Isis, the noodly elements of Pelican and a dose of Hymns-era Godflesh, KWC coalesce established elements into a dense yet sprawling whole that’s equally enduring. The mystique lies in the unique familiarity of Container Ships – despite a few naff songtitles.