Space pirates. It’s an interesting concept that combines many people’s childhood fantasies. Now combine space pirates with music and sprinkle in various legends and you’ve got a recipe for the band The Mechanisms.

I’ve only listened to two full albums so far, but I’ve found them catchy and entertaining. Each album takes listeners on a different journey with a motley crew of immortal, immoral, space pirates. Their first album is a futuristic take on fairy tales and the second is a take on Greek mythology.

I’m going to focus on the second album, “Ulysses Dies at Dawn”, because, out of the two I’ve listened to, it’s my favorite.

“Ulysses Dies at Dawn” opens by setting the scene: a grim city that’s taken over a planet and rebellion that Ulysses had been a part of. We’re told that Ulysses got their revenge and drove a city into madness. Currently, a group of desperate people have been gathered together to break into a vault of Ulysses’ making. Each person has been chosen to take on a specific trial to get in. These people are all figures from Greek mythology: Heracles, Ariadne, Oedipus, and Orpheus.

The fact that this album’s foundation is built on Greek mythology is why I started listening to The Mechanisms in the first place. “Ulysses Dies at Dawn” pulls from lesser-known tales and references famous ones, like the Trojan War. It criticizes the gods’ treatment of mortals while also criticizing the greed of the rich. Like the original myths, it’s a tale about imperfect people in difficult situations.

I love tragedies, especially when you know how the story ends. It’s why I love the musical “Hadestown”. The audience knows how the story ends, but somehow they have hope that it will end differently. This album is similar. The title tells you how the story will end; Ulysses will die. But somehow, there’s a bit of hope that maybe they’ll survive.

A key to this hope is connecting the audience to the character quickly. By the end of the third song, listeners know about Ulysses’ past and know that their regret has driven them to drink. At this point, they’re the only character listeners know anything about. The other characters have been seen beating them up for no apparent reason.

While we learn more about the other’s later, a part of us still wants Ulysses to win because, out of a slew of bad options, they seem like the best.

“Ulysses Dies at Dawn” is a creative album with a gripping, labyrinthine story. The Mechanisms’ music pulls listeners into a wild crew of pirates and their shenanigans. I love their work, and I can’t wait to listen to more.

Lynn Spahr is a Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism and is the Opinion Page Editor.

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