Ship Thieves was originally born as an outlet for songs and ideas that Chris Wollard was working on that didn’t necessarily fit with Hot Water Music. Casually, these late night porch jams and mellow all-night-drive soundtracks took shape and friends and fellow musicians were drawn into Wollard’s orbit. Addison Burns (Quit, The Enablers, touring sound engineer for many a well-known band) became a constant contributor with guitar and vocals. Assorted other characters floated in and out. Then, at its own comfortable pace, a debut album was born in 2009. Wollard defied expectations with the first Ship Thieves record, turning in an album of varied songs ranging from rockers akin to Hot Water Music to acoustic gems. The album was a sleeper that garnered the band a substantial following, which continues to percolate and grow with each subsequent release.
Soon after the self-titled LP, Chad Darby (Samiam, Hawks And Doves, Averkiou) came on board as permanent bass player, bringing a musical breadth running from Motown to hardcore. A few months later, the missing piece was unearthed in Bobby Brown, a steadfast drummer who gets behind the band and is always pushing forward. This line up was locked in for two years when the band’s sophomore album was recorded and released in 2012. Canyons delivers wall-to-wall rockers, soaring melodic guitar leads, and a rock solid rhythm section. The record showcased a refined focus, closing in on an overall rock directness (or a direct rockness) that would continue to progress towards LP3. Wollard himself would describe the record as “Southern punks playing rock and roll!”
The next three years have shown the band tightening and honing this streamlined direction. Simply put, No Anchor is the favorite Hot Water Music record that you’ve never heard before. Ship Thieves now being his primary songwriting outlet, Wollard was free to go all in on No Anchor with Chad, Addison, and Bobby each contributing fantastic elements to the record. There was a heavy emphasis put on space and the songs benefit from a large, organic sound devoid of over processing and ultra compression. These songs breathe, they are alive, and they never let up from the moment the needle hits the groove. They are quite simply the very best songs Ship Thieves have ever written.