Atomship on Unknown Sundays 2024


Naming one’s band is like naming a child. We have had this discussion before in many other articles, for those that are religious followers of our little corner of the music multi-verse, and that is not exactly where this article is headed. But, sometimes we know why their named the way they are, and others are a bit unknown. What’s even more “unknown” is the concept as to their attention getting, and how they become extremely popular or completely forgotten, which is probably like most things of this once-on-a-lifetime kind of profession (ie: Novelist, Actor, Actress, Writer). The only problem with naming one’s band against naming of a child, is there is no room for duplication…and there in lies some serious originality and marketing soul searching.

I always think of bands naming themselves, and kind of going through that loud speaker stage announcement like this: “Ladies and gentlemen…Liquor Puppy!” No. “Ladies and gentlemen…Got No Name.” No. “Ladies and gentlemen…The Roofers!” Hell, no! “Ladies and gentlemen…Unknown Sundays!” Hmm, that does have a ring to it, right?

Anyway, that leads us to today’s band, Atomship, or is it AtomshipDown, or is it Watership Down? Not that it really matters to me in the grand naming scheme of things, but in my marketing profession it is always necessary to stick with your name. Stick with your slogan as far as you can take it. Get the message out. Push it all to the limit. Perhaps that’s what they did, when forming Watership Down back somewhere near 2002 (could have been earlier). The band’s name comes from the classic tale by Richard Adams about anthropomorphised rabbits possessing their own culture, language and well, just about everything that makes us all human. I dig it! And that album cover, that would eventually come to be The Crash of ’47 (which is a reference to the Roswell New Mexico alleged UFO crash), definitely brings home the interesting nature of the band and an intelligence factor that got my attention immediately in May of 2004.

The three piece rock alternative band delivers The Crash of ’47 with such an alternative, professional vigor and tenacity I had no doubt that the album and band would be another Wind-Up, record label, smash in the genre. From the opening song, “Day of the Daze” to the superhero-rock-theme “Mothra” to the radio played “Pencil Fight” and into the final “Plastic People,” you really knew they meant it when they said, “Let’s Play!” There are technically no dogs on this recording, and that’s pretty hard to accomplish for an off the radar, struggling alternative band. And so, critically, it was well received and there seemed to be a steady fan base, but record sales were not encouraging, and they were dropped from Wind-Up. The band even disbanded the year of the release (apparently).

And so, a band, which could have been held with the likes of other bands releasing and playing at the time, like Audioslave, Staind, System of A Down, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Perfect Circle, Chevelle and Muse, somehow moves to obscurity, falling on deaf ears in the alternative rock world–not entirely.  What you didn’t know, but probably needed to know, was that original vocalist and chief writer, Pardoe, could not continue during the recording and promotion of The Crash of ’47 because of anxiety issues and the stand in vocalist, Culver, had kind of taken over. But, that eventually fell apart, hence the disbanding the same year as the release. Pardoe managed to get it all back together in 2006 (two years later), but under the original name AtomshipDown without Culver (more than likely for legal purposes).

There was a hope in 2007, after an announcement of a double recording directly from the camp, as well as some self-recorded demos, but there would come a death in the family, Nathan Slade, lead guitarist. Then the return to WatershipDown, the band’s original name (we can assume more so out of respect to Nathan Slade). The album, which was called Let Us Sleep A While, has not made it to the light of day to this point, as I’ve eagerly searched for how to purchase. There was a Tweet back in 2010, and that was the only one, while looking for a drummer. Then a note that there was a release in 2013, but I do not see any material evidence of such, just YouTube “Seven Months” which was slated to be on that record (Pardoe paying tribute to Nathan Slade) which was loaded back in 2009.

I still hold out for the possibilities of hearing a next album, but it seems the Atomship and or Watership might be truly down. I encourage those that have not heard The Crash of ’47 to partake of it, and understand just how hard it is to name a band, keep it living and breathing as it was formed and known or unknown as–you never know when it’s going to be dead, or how it’s going to possibly resurrect itself.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *