Album Review: Captain, We’re Sinking – “With Joey Riley”

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Every now and then you’ll hear a band that just wow’s you from the second you start listening. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it just hits the sweet spot over and over again. For me, one of those rare encounters has been with Captain, We’re Sinking. Since I got myself their second EP It’s A Trap! I was instantly hooked on their vicious, hook riddled and witty brand of emotionally charged punk. I was pretty bummed when once again the band fell out of sight until earlier today when I wrote up a story on their new EP With Joe Riley and a split with Timeshares. Because I haven’t heard Timeshares side of the split and also because I believe the EP is (if only slightly) better, I shall restrict this review to the latter only.

The EP starts off with possibly one of the best songs the band’s ever penned, “The Ballad Of Ichabod Crane”. It’s everything Captain, We’re Sinking is good at. Incredibly tight hooky musicianship, bouncy and energetic tempos and of course, the best double vocal attack this side of Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends. The EP follows up with the slightly more vicious “Manners Are Their Own Reward, Gentleman”, which sees Captain We’re Sinking really ripping their vocal chords to shreds over atypical and quirky guitar and bass work.

Though these guys definitely pack more in just pure balls than they do in technique, it’s hard to deny that they’re extremely capable musicians and that instrumentally they run a very tight ship. Consequently, the way the two vocalist work the vocal melodies over the music becomes critical and Captain, We’re Sinking never misses a step. The album closes with one of the slowest songs the band has written so far and possibly the standout of the EP, “Foster Brothers”, which is one of the most shit-kicking tear jerkers I’ve heard in a long time. Simple, pop infused, but effective and honest.

Lyrically, the band continues their trend of witty, semi-poetic and awfully personal lyrics. They’re not neccessarily difficult, and that’s one of the awesome things about these guys, it’s just very intelligent writing. No need for lofty metaphors or the prominent use of everyone’s favourite ‘F’ Word, it’s just top-notch lyrical ability. The opening lines from “Foster Brothers” should be enough of an indication of what sort of lyrics you will find on this EP:

I got up early today to clean my insides off the floor/I saw your face in the billboard abs above the 84. And since I’m broken and I’m lost I’ve nailed myself onto a cross? Won’t you help me down?/ Because all my foster brothers have given up on me”.

Not landmark poetry by any means, but a lyrical style that takes a certain amount of talent, specially when you make it sound as catchy as these dudes manage.

And that’s the thing with this EP, it definitely feels cleaner and tighter than It’s A Trap!. If they had any doubts about the band they were trying to be before it’s pretty clear they have long since cleared them up before writing up this EP. I would go as far as to say that this is their most accessible set of songs too, but that doesn’t take away from what they have created. This is as honest as underground music gets, and with this release under their belts it’s still a wonder to me that a larger label hasn’t yet picked them up. The only fault this EP has is that it’s just too fucking short.  I have nothing but high hopes for their full-length.

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One Comment

  1. debra3/3/2011 2:37 PM | Permalink

    I love these s more than worms!!!!

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