In the spring of 2011, Maritime released their new LP, Human Hearts on Dangerbird Records. Indeed, band overlords, Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier, have to realize how far they’ve come, having now recorded as many albums with Maritime as with their with seminal band, The Promise Ring, (which split in 2002).
It’s hard to underestimate their old outfit’s rippling influence on music and related subculture scenes. The Promise Ring made their way partially from, and then more through, the hardcore / punk rock music scene into the burgeoning indie rock world. Incidentally, they were one of the few bands that could equally appeal to both audiences, making a big splash on both music fans and tastemakers alike.
Today, Maritime enjoys the perks of being both a great band on their own and one that carries with them a substantial history that indeed tends to prompt a heightened sense of anticipation from fans, friends and contemporaries. The buzz is starting again with the collection of great songs on Human Hearts.
Human Hearts was recorded with some degree of leisure in Maritime’s hometown, and the comfortable nature of that situation shows in every layer, from the travelogue—a fave von Bohlen subject—of “Air Arizona” to the insistent shimmer of “Paraphernalia.”
In varying degrees, every song on Human Hearts seems to set out to prove something: “Do we fight, fight, fight, fight on?” asks “It’s Casual,” and the answer is clearly “yes.” You can hear it in the gleaming pop-punk gem “Annihilation Eyes,” the climbing “C’mon Sense,” and especially “Faint of Hearts,” which filters classic-rock through Maritime’s pop sensibility, adding a snarl for powerful punctuation at the end.
It also feels comfortable: with itself and its station. Maybe it’s because this lineup has been together so long now, or perhaps because it’s the start of a new beginning with Dangerbird Records, the label run by former Promise Ring manager Jeff Castelaz and home to Silversun Pickups, the Dears, Fitz And The Tantrums and Minus The Bear.
It’s a strange brew, that’s for sure— blanket-warm ease and tremendous desire. But it’s a snug fit, and a joy to hear.