Eight Bells
The Captain's Daughter

Generally, most releases under the Seventh Rule banner come with an inordinate amount of distortion draped over them, falling somewhere between the crust and doom areas of classification. It’s what has made the label so successful in a short amount of time, and has polarized it to those who prefer their metal a bit more pristine and lean. Because of this, getting the alternative to the alternative in the form of Eight Bells should enable the label’s basket to become more varied…one can only have so many bands on Orange-amp overload.

Based out of Portland, OR, with two its members (guitarist/vocalist Melynda Jackson and drummer Chris Van Huffel) having done time in the experimental SubArachnoid Space, Eight Bells easily falls into the experimental territory, although the occasional melody drip heard across The Captain Daughter’s four tracks suggests some framework for something more concrete. Two instrumentals sandwich the running order, the first being “Tributaries,” which sees Jackson pepper the track with some nifty effects and chord movements. “Fate and Technology” is where the band’s spacey ideas take flight (like NASA, of course), with Jackson lending some ghostly vocals to an otherwise restrained and masterfully blissful number.

The title track ends up trudging along without much purpose; the kind of noise-based, needlessly prolonged number that usually prompt people to leave the already-empty bar. “Yellowed Wallpaper” fares much better, with echoed guitars, restrained drums, and driving riffs. So clearly, Eight Bells hit on three out of four tracks, which isn’t a bad batting average to start. To top it off, they have more potential than a lot of what Seventh Rule has been parading these days. Bonus points for that.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by David E Gehlke
March 8th, 2013

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