When Maritime emerged in 2003, the quartet faced an almost crippling level of expectation. Davey von Bohlen had been the charismatic frontman for The Promise Ring, widely regarded as one of the most important bands in the nascent Emo movement. Drummer Dan Didier had been the velvet hammer that propelled The Promise Ring’s beautifully irregular heartbeat, bassist Eric Axelson had provided the malleable and powerful bottom for The Dismemberment Plan and guitarist Dan Hinz powered a tackle box full of Weezer-esque Power Pop/Punk hooks with The Benjamins.
As a result, Maritime’s initial releases — 2003’s Adios EP and 2004’s Glass Floor — were slightly underwhelming, but perhaps only because they offered the unexpected sound of transition, maturation and growth when most were just looking for the Promise Ring Mk. II. With Maritime’s fourth full-length, Human Hearts, the band delivers not on the unrealistic expectation of their formation, but on the potential hidden between the lines of those first releases. Which is not to say that Maritime (minus Axelson and featuring Justin Klug on bass since 2006) has been lacking with their subsequent work — 2006’s We, the Vehicles and 2007’s Heresy and the Hotel Choir were deliberately crafted and deservedly well received.
Milwaukee's Maritime headlines Friday night's MidPoint Indie Summer Series show on Fountain Square. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice.