Michael James Partington, the former singer/songwriter and guitarist for the band Head Of Femur is quite the talented musician. However, in 2008, he was looking for something new. He left behind virtually everything and moved to a small section of Taiwan to start recording some new music, bringing only a microphone, keyboard, guitar and laptop to work with. The result was the formation of the solo band Shipbuilding Co. and the release of his debut album Radios And Flying Birds.
“1918 Was Our Year” starts the disc out with a light melody and is one of only two tracks not written by Partington; “You Tunguskaed My Heart” being the other. The Asian-themed “Shanghai Maglev Train” has keyboard sounds like that of a vintage video game and talks about his fleeing to Taiwan. A nice, steady piano makes up “Columbus’ Ladder.” A duet, “Easter Island Song” is a very slow one, as is “Last Of The Mediterranean Powdered Homes.”
The CD gets much more upbeat with “1939 World’s Fair,” and it contains some awesome sound effects. “Alexandria” is a synthesized tune, and while it doesn’t contain any vocals, it’s a nice song to listen to.
Most tracks on the disc are similar and seem to flow but some of them are on a completely different spectrum then the others. Partington is certainly a gifted performer, but the album does seem to raise some questions as to what direction it goes into.
In A Word: Bamboozling