Abandon Ship! are from Basingstoke. It’s worth letting that sink in for a moment. When you’re grumbling about your lot in lockdown at least you’re not having to spend it in a town in which the most interesting thing is the collection of decorated roundabouts on the ring road. I jest of course – I’m sure that Basingstoke really does have much to appeal.
Abandon Ship! mention in their press release that they draw fresh inspiration from the Australian sounds of Ocean Alley and Sticky Fingers. They’re not the only band I’ve seen recently that have cited Sticky Fingers as an influence. I had no idea when I saw Sticky Fingers live back in 2014 at a free gig at Leicester’s Cookie (review here) that I was in the company of future legends. Admittedly, they were pretty great though – and I wish I’d committed more of that gig to memory.
I called it back then. Sticky Fingers’ sound seemed pretty wrapped up in weed culture. And you could be forgiven for thinking that the recent single from Abandon Ship! ‘Get Blazed’ was inhaling from that same pot if you’re the sort that takes song titles in isolation. “Yeah normally it would mean that,“, says lead guitarist, Jordan Baggs, when I ask about the reference. “Although In this case it’s more the notion of getting away from the mundane, releasing yourself from the slog of a life of 9-5.“.
It is a stonker of a track for sure. It’s a tune all about friendship – about going away with a group of best mates on holiday and loving every minute that you spend in their company. It beautifully captures that feeling you sometimes get when sitting in a pub garden with a large gang of friends and laughing so much that it hurts. It’s the Zoom call that you never want to leave because you feel so at ease with the other people on it.
Musically, Abandon Ship! have delivered a track with all sorts of indie shimmer. The laidback vibe glistens throughout but that doesn’t mean that the earworm of a chorus won’t stridently march forward and lodge itself in your head before the day is done.
And ‘Get Blazed’ probably hits home harder than ever right now because our opportunity to get away from the mundane with friends we love is so scarce. That will change though and when it does, the resulting party will surely be wild.
Yep – even in Basingstoke.