The Pirate Ship Quintet
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The Pirate Ship Quintet


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""There is no shortage of good ideas on this vessel""

Five years. That’s how long it’s been since instrumental outfit The Pirate Ship Quintet have released any music, nothing since 2007's self titled masterpiece of an EP. But what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality, with their new album Rope For No-Hopers proving that there is no shortage of good ideas on this proud vessel.

Not much has changed to be honest, if you loved their EP, you’re going to love this. They still make full use of their trademark epic build ups, the sweeping orchestral elements and the occasional inaudible, low-in-the-mix screams just adding to their particular brand of atmospherics. The loud parts are loud, the quiet parts are hauntingly beautiful to the point where hairs begin standing to attention. Once again, mastering duties have been passed on to Magnus Lindberg of Cult Of Luna, which should go some way to preparing you for the quality you’re letting yourself in for. Just perfect in every way, I honestly can not fault this album at all. Except maybe that it is only 5 tracks long, but then that’s to be expected when dealing with this area of post-rock, with their shortest track Horse Manifesto clocking in at 7:25, these are not short, disposable pop hits. There is plenty of sound on offer here, you won’t be feeling short changed in any way. In fact, you’ll continue to discover new things to love on these songs with each listen.

An absolute essential addition to CD collections containing the likes of Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. If you haven’t got it, why not? If you’ve never heard of this band, you have some catching up to do because you do not want to miss out on this. So mosey on over to to get the full lowdown and buy the album. Now! - Mo Phonic

""One to which you will be returning over and over again.""

There’s no doubt that Denovali Records has a grand vision. Since its first catalog release back in 2006, the Bochum (Germany) based label, continued to systematically sign and publish some of the world’s top talent in a variety of genres. When it comes to instrumental rock, shoegaze, and post-rock in particular, Denovali picks projects that are absolutely at the top of their game. These are the bands to which Headphone Commute sang many a praise in the past: from Blueneck to Her Name Is Calla to Aun and of course The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation. This time, Denovali managed to secure one of the bands with which I fell in love back in 2007 – The Pirate Ship Quintet – a group consisting of Ziapour (bass guitar), Jona (drums), Alex (guitar), Alphie (guitar), Sandy (cello), Moo (trumpet) and Terrence (vocals).
The debut self-titled release by the British seven-piece quintet was a humble three-track EP. Yet somehow, in just a little over thirty minutes, the band managed to capture the essence of everything post post-rock, from the emotionally deep progression, to the organically enriched dynamics, to elegantly produced song structure. On their first full length, Rope For No-Hopers, the group continues to pull at the melancholy strings which build with the tension and finally discharge into indiscernible screaming. The cello picks up the tempo and plunges into a virtuoso dance, slowly receding into the background before the trumpet takes its queue. And there are always the drums – meticulously measuring away the constantly shape-shifting bars that set the skeleton of the compositions in place.
The name of the new album evokes both solemnity and catharsis, while the track titles are references to abstract ideas and in-jokes, products of the bands notoriously dark sense of humour. ‘Horse Manifesto’ for example details the imagined uprising of an equine regime, bent on recompense for man’s inhumane exploitation of their kind.
With a despairing title like Rope For No-Hopers, the five tracks on the album, averaging about ten minutes a piece, demonstrate once again that post-rock is alive, and breathing fire. Over the five-year hiatus, the group quietly slipped away from the scene, but that doesn’t mean that during their absence the music refrained. In fact, the pieces on the album have been selected from the many past few years, during which time the band disappeared from the live scene. This time, the roller coaster is bigger, its dark foundation heavier, and its cinematic atmospherics lighter – all designed and upgraded for the most exhilarating ride. One to which you will be returning over and over again. - Headphone Commute

""Every note here feels perfectly placed...""

Atmospheric post-rockers The Pirate Ship Quintet have been quiet as a mouse since the release of their excellent self-titled EP back in 2005. Like most good things, new album 'Rope For No-Hopers' was well worth the wait, as the boys from Bristol have undoubtedly out-done themselves

Throughout this dense sonic journey the listener is treated to all the choice elements of the darker side of post-rock. There are some hints of (early) Red Sparowes, the softer side of Isis and a splash of Neurosis, however the Pirate Ship Quintet have created a sound here that is both a sum of these parts but a replica of none.

The sound is honed and controlled yet expansive and thought provoking. With the eyes closed the listener is transported to a world of bleak, beautiful isolation. The music throughout feels like a journey through the darker side of the psyche that can easily play as an entire piece, with each track acting as movements within a monumental whole. The listener is thrown into the twists, turns and massive bursts of uncontrolled cathartic bliss that comprise true darkness.

The heaviness is sparse but extremely well-used, placed perfectly amongst building, brooding string lines and lush, expansive guitar. When there are vocals, they are distant guttural screams evoking images of an entity at total rock bottom; not bitter, but almost relishing its sheer unbridled ferocity. All is not downtrodden here, however, as there are some really serene reveries, especially the very end section, the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

This is an album of many layers, each one darker, more foreboding and yet more uplifting than the last. Comparisons with Grails are easily drawn, not just due to the excellent use of cello (among other classical touches such as violin and some epic brass) but with the sheer level of craftsmanship apparent here.

The Pirate Ship Quintet have clearly spent their time away perfecting their skills. Every note here feels perfectly placed, every hit necessary and every single second played and produced with an attention to detail that seems almost surgical. This is definitely a grower, enjoyed most when given your full attention and listened to through good headphones. Believe me, you’re in for a real treat. - Beardrock


"The Pirate Ship Quintet" - Self Titled debut EP released 2007/Sound Devastation Records

"Rope For No-Hopers" - Debut album released May 2012/Denovali Records



Five years after their début EP was released to critical acclaim, The Pirate Ship Quintet recently released their first full length album entitled 'Rope for No-Hopers', through the German based label Denovali Records. The record is a compendium of pieces chosen and refined from an abundance written over the past few years, during which time the band disappeared from the live scene.

Again mastered by Magnus Lindberg (Cult of Luna) in Umeå Sweden, the five tracks on this record move through the richly melodic foundations of contemporary classical and minimalist rock. The swelling dark atmospherics give way to moments of brute force, punctuated by low level, desperate vocals. It is a little heavier and more technically diverse than the debut E.P and feels like a considered and organic evolution of the band's method.

As well as playing numerous shows in the UK including shows with Red Sparowes, Cult of Luna, Bardo Pond, Enablers, Jeniferever, iliketrains and Gravenhurst; The Pirate Ship Quintet have also embarked on headline tours and festival appearances in Germany, France, The Netherlands and Belgium.

The band's fantastically talented cellist, who has played with the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra among others, recently accepted a full-time position with the National Orchestra of Wales which is based very close to the band's home town. With all members of the group living in the same part of the UK once more and with their own small studio in the heart of Bristol they will be writing, recording and performing consistently again.