by Melissa Duong
When Ships Collide, a local Philadelphia band, is reminiscent of your standard emo garage band with their sixties pop infused indie rock vibe. As the band describes themselves, they are a “shooby doo wop a wop wop” sort of sound. I’m not quite sure what that means, but from listening to them, their sound is dirty and unfiltered in the sense that the vocals are grungy and soulful. In fact, they cite that the Philadelphia local music scene has influenced them in this respect.
There’s no restraint in Troy Kominiak’s or Todd Selby’s crooning vocals that can manage to reflect such a wide scope of emotion, although at times the sounds come off as a little immature and too undeveloped. Furthermore, the grungy soulful quality of the vocals can seem a bit out of place when contrasted with the slight superficial lyrics on their four song EP, Our Family. However, if you are not in a deep or pondering mood, the songs are perfect for inducing an all out feel good attitude about nothing in particular. You’ll find yourself smiling for no reason!
To return to the roots of the band, the name When Ships Collide was just stumbled upon when they were throwing around ideas. Given that the name was catchy and a lot of imagery could be drawn upon the name, it stuck. Troy Kominiak and Todd Selby who are both on vocals play guitar and bass respectively. Because the band only consists of three members, it would seem that each member has to do double duty in assuming responsibilities. Luckily, the two are talented enough that they can get by fairly easily with the original two members and recently gaining Jake Detwiler on drums, whom they met through a mutual friend. This chemistry seems to be working for them as Kominiak states that “I think we are going to keep going on as a three piece for a bit. No need to change anything now.”
If the band had to recommend a single song to any of their fans, their personal favorite would be “Boardwalk Arcade”. Actually, most of the lyrics of their song are based upon everyday life experiences. So meaningful are these experiences that Kominiak can trace back every song to a single memory. Although the song may not be about that particular circumstance, that experience was the single instigator for such lyrics. And, in terms of recording, both the lyrics and melody are written simultaneously. While a melody is being written, Kominiak adds a bit of his own lyrical creativity with most of the lyrics sticking.
Look forward to a possible new EP as the band plans to head back into the recording studio and keep on playing shows locally. If you’re interested in When Ships Collide, check out their Facebook page or their Bandcamp page .