Release Date: Apr 5, 2011
Record label: Dangerbird Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
You know a band is confident about their album when they put what is perhaps the catchiest track on the disc at the very end because the album is just that good. Such is the case with Maritime and their 2011 album Human Hearts. While the band has been making epically good indie rock albums since 2004's Glass Floor, Human Hearts is the kind of end-to-end solid album that most bands strive for, rarely attain, and usually only achieve once in their career, with track after track of immediately addictive, sparklingly produced, and emotionally heartfelt pop.
In hindsight, it seems unfair that Maritime were introduced to the world as a collaboration between former members of two bands with incredible rhythm sections. Dismemberment Plan bassist Eric Axelson and former Promise Ring drummer Dan Didier are among the most muscular and interesting players to emerge from mid-to-late-90s indie rock, and expectations were high for Maritime's 2004 debut, Glass Floor, to capitalize on the well-documented energy of both bands. For many who harbored such expectation-- myself, admittedly, included-- Glass Floor was a baffling disappointment, a seemingly flat and lifeless album from musicians who had proven themselves capable of so much more.
After proving they could perform outside of their own skin, Maritime kept on searching for their own individuality as far away from their Promise Ring association. For a career that already spans a total of eight years, the Milwaukee quartet still give the impression of being apprentices in search of approval. Not that there isn’t anything wrong with reintroducing yourself constantly – it’s unfortunate that a band that constantly plays tightly woven melodies with incontestable authority hasn’t found a wider audience aside from their indie-emo niche.