Aether Shanties

Abney Park

Review score: 60%

Review Date: January 2014
Reviewer: Tali
Source: Rock Hard Reviews

Amazon UK: Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy MP3

Once upon a time, there was a goth band. They released a few albums, and then maybe had a serious chat about their image, or maybe they were involved in some kind of time/space airship crash. There are two accounts of this story that differ slightly. The result was one of the best-known steampunk bands out there.

So, on the band moved into this strange new realm and along the way they acquired the strangest assortment of instruments available. The end result is a band with a lot of the makings of rock, but played on completely different instruments. Their soft-spoken lead singer also plays the accordion and pretty much every other instrument under the sun; the guitarist also plays violin, and has belts instead of hair (this may just be when on stage).

With some funky beats and strong lyrics, welcome to the steampunk revolution… musical edition.

Under the Radar

This starts the album with something fast and fun. You can practically hear the machinery working in the song. The coupling of male and female singing on the chorus works really well and makes you want to join in. It’s one of those songs where the lyrics tell a story. It’s energetic, but sounds very simple.

Building Steam

The start of this track is taken over by some alien insect resembling a cricket. It’s definitely a song to build your steam contraptions to. The song is full of energy, with that factory-beat that finds its way into a lot of music. The chorus is one to sing along to… and the alien cricket is back for the end.

Until the Day you Die

This song makes me think of Fallout 3. If I were a modder, I would love to put this onto Galaxy News Radio. It’s got that old-record distortion in the background. Don’t worry, the lyrics are really clear, and the song’s good in its own right.

The Derelict

This is my favourite song on this album. This one wasn’t written by the band, but is a poem by Young Ewing Allison. Even if you don’t know the name, you’re sure to have heard the words ‘Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum’; every single film and TV show with pirates in it plays this one. Probably.

Most songs on this album can be sung along to after a few listens, this one is a different story. The singer goes so fast it’s nearly impossible to keep up; I also doubt that all the words are real. It’s a different version of the old song, quick paced and bouncy – strangely upbeat for such a morbid topic.

I will challenge anyone to get the lyrics and try to sing along on the first listen.

Throw them overboard

With a bouncy beat belonging in some old maritime pub this one is mostly accordion; minimal in the instruments, but strong in lyrics (even if I had to check the meanings of half of the words – words aren’t meant to have five syllables!). I’m sure anyone who owns some technology has wanted to ‘throw it overboard’ at one point or another.


Doing music in a persona isn’t anything new, but these people have a fun persona. You can imagine them through most of the album on their airship. A quick google search will show just how amazing their costumes are, and more effort goes into their music. If you don’t mind trying out an odd musical style they are worth a listen, even if you don’t have clockwork on the brain.

Buy Now! Amazon UK: Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy MP3

Track List (may vary)

  • Under the Radar
  • Building Steam
  • Until the Day You Die
  • My Life
  • Throw them Overboard
  • The Derelict
  • Victoria
  • The Clockyard
  • Too Far to Turn Back