Nautical Mile – Invisible Ink EP

By Devin Morse

At first, it’s a little hard to measure Nautical Mile. Imagine what Evanescence would sound like if they fully grasped the concepts of scales, chords and creative song structure. Add to this some catchy vocal melodies, a few well-placed pick slides, and a healthy amount of talent, and Invisible Ink will move you by at least some measurable distance.

Comparing Nautical Mile to the plastic, mass-produced sound of Evanescence may be a bit unfair. Submerged within this four-song EP, one may net small bits of At The Drive In, Pantera, or even Led Zeppelin. Still, much of what emerges is reminiscent of early 2000’s, female-vocal driven pop rock. The feeling is one of drama, showing a slight tendency to navigate rough, personal oceans while still falling victim to a number of pop music clichés. But there is some strong musicianship here, and somehow it all evens out.

The first track, “Weeds,” is the best of the lot. True to form, the verse sections churn in distorted maelstrom, breaking violently against the heavy-rocking chorus sections. The instrumentals are interesting and tight (think Omar Rodríguez-López), and the vocal melodies are catchier than Syphilis on an 1840’s shrimping vessel. Although it seems rather unlikely, considering the dramatic nature of the music, this song appears to be about gardening.

Overall, Nautical Mile has a tendency to ride mostly just one musical current.

Still, they pilot these waters in a well-constructed vessel, with the technical skill and talent of seasoned navigators.


  1. says

    First of all, I’m extremely impressed with this critique. I love the interwoven allusions to fact that the artist name “Nautical Mile” is both a reference to maritime lifestyle and simultaneously a measurement of distance. I really appreciate the subsequent dark and dirty turns the narrative takes – with regard to the swashbuckling, rum-guzzling, parrot-shouldering, barnacle-underbelly-infested inland-sea-based lifestyle that Nautical Mile embodies. Arrrrg! Furthermore, I thought the comparisons to NM’s musical contemporaries were absolutely relevant, and very flattering for the most part (excluding Evanescence. Yawn for Evanescence.). Overall I think this EP review has been a refreshing wind pushing more power into NM’s otherwise outdated early 2000s female vocal-powered sails, encouraging further development of essential instrumental knots, and perhaps allowing the navigation of waterways that may propel Nautical Mile into deeper and less familiar and unexplored waters. Your honest and thorough constructive criticism I hope will inspire the crew (of which I am admittedly a member) into a greater presence within the fresh-water rocky mountain music scene.
    Finally, as a clarification, the “Weeds” song may at first come across to listeners as a gardening song; and that is no mistake, for on Nautical Mile’s long and tumultuous scurvy laden journeys through the great seas of Northern Colorado, we all share a collective dream of one day cultivating our livelihoods off of the land: By fracking the hell out of the Front Range landscape with countless tentacles of condensation tanks bloated with fossil fuel gold! take that, well water consumers.

    In summation, this review was witty, clever, and undoubtedly a true and honest testimony born from the mind of a worthy author, and we thank you for your thoughts.

    - Justin

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