Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship?
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Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship?


Band Americana Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Too often New Orleans indie releases lack that innate sense of place that clings to so many of the recordings by the city's defining artists. Listening to "No Blood No Blooms", however, I feel just as much at home as I do when the needle drops on a Meters or Rebirth album.
This comforting feeling pops up throughout the record. For starters, the primary instrument is the accordion, played by lead vocalist and songwriter Walt McClements. Its sound isn't Cajun or Zydeco though, but some other bastard creature of the swamp. Then there's the marching band horn section, frequently punctuated by haunting soprano saxophone that I imagine Sidney Bechet's horn would sound like had he grown up listening to Ornette Coleman. There are sing along sea shanty choruses...and rhythms as slow and dripping as our summers. Like so much else here, this record is strange, beautiful, sometimes out of tune, and always-always!-bristling with spirit. -Ben Berman
- Offbeat Magazine

"New Orleans Rock City"

Many different strains of street musician come crashing together in the sound of this riotous and richly dramatic collective in which everyone-including the accordion player-sounds self taught. You can hear the bands love for Tom Waits in every lurch and bounce of their soulful junkyard sprawl. -Alex Rawls - Spin Magazine

"Global Ear New Orleans"

Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? is a fittingly oversize name for the eight member apocalyptic brass/accordion outfit I caught at a ramshackle sculpture studio on the edge of the 9th ward. The group issued their waltzes and sad subtle melodies into the balmy night air as a mixed crowd of bike wielding bohemian kids and older music aficionados grilled food over makeshift firepits and refilled tubs of jambalaya. --Alex V. Cook - The Wire

"More questions that answers with Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship?"

It's not right to ask questions of a band that asks them of you, and sitting down with Walt McClements, the eye of the Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? storm and dissecting their hardly defineable sound felt like flipping the switch on a new particle accelator. Amid the discarded descriptions of the Big Ship (French Music? Funeral Dirges?) I arrive at anarchy. Not Anarchy, Ltd. or some kind of video game or ass patch, but what we will sound like when we're only left with those immediately around us, after some really fucked up, apocalyptic thing happens. Accordions horns, candles, voices, drums-whatever we will find in the rubble- will be the soundtrack for the new age, and thankfully we have the document to prepare us for it: "No Blood No Blooms", the Big Ship's first album, which recently came out on Matt Knowles' Domino Sound Records. - Antigravity Magazine

"A Big Ship From New Orleans Lands In Baltimore"

The Windup Space was bustling with activity on Tuesday night, somewhat surprisingly, given that it was just a couple days before a major holiday and the bar's entertainment was a couple of obscure out-of-town bands. Whether those in attendance were just Windup regulars getting a drink or otherwise, those two bands, which were both from New Orleans and went by the long and funny names of Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? and Hurray For The Riff Raff, ended up having the audience eating out of their hands.
Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? was something like a miniature orchestra, with a four-piece horn section and two drummers--including Lee, who also played banjo--as well as bass and accordion players. The accordionist, Walt McClements, was also the frontman of Big Ship, and proved to be an intriguing character, rasping out sea shanties and dark narratives in a way that couldn't help but recall Tom Waits. The band's 45-minute set was a joyful, lumbering carnival of drama and sound, building and building from one song to the next.
Some of Big Ship's songs began with the whole band singing high a cappella harmonies, gradually adding instruments, while others featured a brass overture or a honking tuba riff. But its best songs all built up to some kind of ecstatic climax, usually featuring the horn section's standout player, the soprano saxophonist, letting loose with a skipping, squealing yet incredibly controlled solo that just sailed on top of every other instrument.-Al Shipley
- Baltimore City Paper


Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship s/t CD 2007
"No Blood, No Blooms" LP/Cassette 2008



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