Music sometimes just cuts through the bullshit. As reviewers we often get caught up trying to describe the sound of a band or what genre they come into. Eight Bells clearly don't care what their music is described as or try to appeal to a certain genre specific audience. If they did they wouldn't have recorded this free roaming album, which at times is head-bang inducing, ethereal and gloriously unpredictable.
Eight Bells came into existence when Subarachnoid Space disbanded. Seeking new musical avenues Guitarist Melynda Jackson and drummer Christopher Van Huffel enlisted the classically trained 6 string bassist Haley Westeiner . The Captain's Daughter is their debut featuring four tracks and just under 40 minutes of music.
There seems to be an almost channelling of sounds throughout the album as it never follows one defined path. Instead tracks spiral in various directions featuring at times some vicious drumming, offset with wails of feedback and glorious melody, which Jackson seems able to produce at will. Mostly instrumental in delivery apart from a well timed vocal presence on the title track from Haley Westeiner.
It took forty seconds for this album to drop my jaw, the hypnotic riff on album opener 'Tributaries' completely flooring me especially as it was unexpected by how the track had begun. The shortest track on offer here, still manages to explore more territory than some band's albums. Each of the remaining three tracks, have plenty of moments of their own, the bluesy riff at the beginning 'The Captain's Daughter' and Van Huffel's drum master-class throughout 'Fate and Technology' . Eight Bells take blueprints of how some music is made, and toss them out the window. The Captain's Daughter takes in many musical forms from experimental odyssey to the introverted melancholy of 'Yellowed Wallpaper'.
At times complex and intricate yet delivered with a soulful raw freedom. Its best experienced without pre-conceptions and an open mind. If you enjoy heavy music that you can "feel", The Captain's Daughter could be one of your new favourites.