Having finally shed the tombstone of The Promise Ring and beard of ex-Dismemberment Plan bassist Eric Axelson, the proper and correct band of Davey von Bohlen, Dan Didier, Justin Klug and Dan Hinz have fabricated a miraculous discharge of garish merriment on Heresy And The Hotel Choir, the first true release for Milwaukee brew-crew Maritime as a devoted unit of savvy studs whose unflinching dedication to this shatterproof outfit is beyond spectacular.
Recorded on digital tape by Grammy winner Stuart Sikes, Heresy is a milestone achievement wherein all members contributed equal arrangement duties in the same artistic space, a foreign leisure not celebrated by von Bohlen and Didier since TPR's final goodbye Wood/Water in 2002.
"You are gonna have to lie to me", Davey von Bohlen's infectious opening lyrics on the illustrious album's opener "Guns Of Navarone," ignites an addictive surge of allurement that cracks open an ineffable fun-pack of raw sugar, never bending the brain into boredom or allowing an elated soul to come down.
"For Science Fiction" is a torrid acceptance of the good life at the hand of the almighty creator, whatever name or shape he or she may take, with bulldog skin-banging and a muffled bass intro that storm across a crimeless horizon like an unhinged Kim Gordon harangue.
"Hand Over Hannover" is a punchy scrap of sizzling guitars full of audacious velocity that quashes unassuming opponents with a hawkish alacrity only found in the industrious fists of Midwestern men.
"Pearl" is the opening of a barn door that expounds the welcomed wisdom and poised confidence of all keen players in this virile bunch that triumphantly preserved the bothersome transition from hyped freshmen with questionable baggage to ripe seniors with scholastic aptitude, in just four tumultuous years.
Al Gore may have won the Nobel Prize for telling us that homo-sapiens are the primary species responsible for the despicable annihilation of our planet, but the true winner of the year comes by the name "First Night On Earth." Psychotic cannibals from San Quentin to Riker's Island should be forced to endure this testament of indestructible gaiety. With prosperous keys and positive lyrics this robust capsule of hope is pleasantly bequeathed to people of tomorrow with palpable pulchritude.
Rather than call Heresy And The Hotel Choir the best record that Maritime has made, let's focus on this album as a solid product of ensemble effort. A great feather in the cap of longtime collaborators von Bohlen and Didier, equally as clandestine as their old band's Nothing Feels Good, Heresy And The Hotel Choir is the ceremonious beginning of a new sonic dynasty in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.