In Reference to a Sinking Ship
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In Reference to a Sinking Ship

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF
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"Artist of the Day: In Reference to a Sinking Ship"

They churn it up and rock it out. Strike and crash, they rage hard. They scream it, bang it, beat it till it begs for mercy.

But they also eat Chick-fil-A.

The members of In Reference to a Sinking Ship sit together during a break at rehearsal, eating chicken and discussing the finer points of metal: Who got signed to what label and which venues are best to play at. They have a show at The Brass Mug on Friday, alongside Hundredth and Lower Than Atlantis. Tickets are $10.

Their music has throaty vocals with crunchy guitars and fast, heavy drums. It is the music of war machines: fast, aggressive metal. As such, it might not appeal to those turned off by music that is “too heavy.” This music is for mosh fans of a hardcore variety.

Johnny Crowder is the vocalist for the band. Like the rest of his bandmates, he’s 18. He has a shaved head and tattoos. He goes to the University of Central Florida. Austin Good and Evan Miller, who both play guitar, go to St. Petersburg College. Bryson St. Angelo (drums) and Austin Chandler (bass) go to Countryside High School.

Crowder has a lot of driving to do.

He drives four hours, 260 miles roundtrip, every weekend to practice with the group. They practice individually, staying connected through e-mails and phone calls. At any given time, the most recent four calls listed on Crowder’s cellphone are probably from the members of his band, he said.

The band formed in March 2009 and has always practiced in a spare room at Kris St. Angelo’s house in Palm Harbor. She is Bryson’s mom, and she is happy to have the boys around. She’ll feed them when they’re hungry — shepherd’s pie and chili, mostly.

The more the merrier,” she said. “They’re great kids.”

During practice, the band members wear hearing protection. The room is loud enough to make sound a tactile, body high. It is literally hair-raising, vibrating your follicles to stand at attention.

Lucky, the St. Angelo’s dog, doesn’t seem to mind. The shih tzu sometimes wanders into the practice room, unfazed. The band quickly shoos him out. No distractions, please.

Crowder has varied tastes. Lately, he’s been listening to Odd Future, a hardcore hip-hop group from Los Angeles.

The band’s name refers to a Norma Jean song of the same title. They also draw influence from August Burns Red and The Black Dahlia Murder.

Vocally, Crowder said he looks up to bands like Impending Doom and Molotov Solution.

Crowder listens to a band online and decides if he really likes their work before he’ll buy their music. In Reference to a Sinking Ship has music on their Myspace. Putting music out for free online doesn’t bother Crowder, he said. It serves a higher purpose.

“If it gets you to a point where you can go to a city that you’ve never been to and hundreds of kids come out and sing along, I think it’s well worth it.”

-- Andrew Ford, tbt* - Tampa Bay Times / St. Petersburg Times


"Album Review: In Reference to a Sinking Ship: Aimless (2011)"

The opening track to Aimless, entitled Defeated, immediately shows you how passionate In Reference To A Sinking Ship is about making true music to the best of their ability. Defeated does something different where it allows the bass to take over in a short but justified lead into a mini breakdown to end the song and let listeners know they mean business.

Dreameater picks up immediately where Defeated left off only this time more fierce in bringing their music talent straight to your ears. Dreameater is a musical assault of serious drumming accompanied by constant guitar riffing and flawless vocals. At about the one minute forty second mark is where things get interesting. To keep your interest, the guitarist gets into a bit of a solo, which you dont normally see in releases lately then its straight back into ruthless guitar riffs, devastating drumming and serious vocal work.
Aimless, the releases title track, continues the audio assault. Aimless is a non stop, pure and in your face Metalcore track that does not slow down for anything.

Bloodline is my personal favorite track, both musically and lyrically. Bloodline is the type of track that has the feel as though it was designed to be a constant "breakdown". Everything about the track stays heavy and on point. Bloodline makes you think, plain and simple. It is definitely the anthem of the release.
To Those Of Faith, the album ender, is a relentless assault on drums with constant guitar riffing accompanied by more raw vocals.

There wasnt much to say about this release due to the fact that it is near flawless. Everything about this album makes it a must have for true fans of Metalcore. Aimless is a high energy, always entertaining release with high replay value. If I were to recommend a Metalcore album that has the ability to be placed on repeat for days, this would be it. Let me just say, most of you that will take the time to listen will automatically compare In Reference To A Sinking Ship to August Burns Red. The only difference is IRTASS is darker, grittier and more entertaining in my own personal opinion. If there was ever a replacement for August Burns Red, these guys would fill the shoes and then some.

Genre: Hardcore/Metalcore

For Fans Of: August Burns Red, Along Came A Spider, Ace Augustine, Like Moths To Flames & After Me The Flood

Album Rating: 9/10 - Jonny Beans: Music & Promotion


Discography

"Aimless" EP - Nov 25, 2010

1. Defeated
2. Dreameater
3. Aimless
4. Bloodline
5. To Those of Faith

Demo 2009

1. Serpents
2. Anchors
3. Sin Illuminati

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Bio

In Reference to a Sinking Ship was formed in early 2009, and has since become an undeniable metal powerhouse that puts a creative twist on their genre, giving them a unique and heavy-hitting sound that will make any metalhead or hardcore kid do a double-take. After releasing their debut EP “Aimless” in late 2010, they have already begun writing for their highly anticipated full length. Having shared the stage with artists such as Carnifex, All Shall Perish, The Faceless, and Veil of Maya, and having played the St. Petersburg date of The Vans Warped Tour 2010, In Reference is quickly earning their stripes in the metal world. With aggressive, throaty vocals and fast, thrashy riffs, In Reference to a Sinking Ship is a Florida band that is sure to make a national impact.