Album Review: Captives – “Afterimage”

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My Eyes Are Open took me off guard in February and after taking it in, and other music from Reveille Records, I knew that this label had potential to be the next big thing akin to Run For Cover or Topshelf. Captives was something I latched onto as their flagship, or one of, and Afterimage justifies why.

Meshing an emo-vibe, melodic-based spine of a record with grunge has been tested, tried…and proven. Title Fight and Balance and Composure’s tested these waters. They did well and delivered soundly and repeatedly. Captives can now be added to the list. “All I Have” opens and with its Brand New morose tone, sets a characteristic nature that flows throughout with succinct storytelling and penetrative honesty. The musical intricacy isn’t complex, and with simple guitarwork that contrasts so much inside each track, yet so potently, from calm to heavy, the record stings in the right ways.

There’s length to the five-tracks offered but the sombre melodies splice nicely. “Leaving” is heartbreaking and it’s a perfect sum of the tapestry the Utah foursome weave. They want a long canvas to tell their depictions on life and this story is appreciated, in its thought-provoking and captivating essence. Themes of catharsis as well as the visceral ebb and flow of life’s struggles come off profoundly when this track anchors the record. The mishaps that life and love induce are expanded on, evocatively, when “To Forget” rolls around to signal how destructive things can get at times.

I connected with the poetry here as if it were Defeater. Maybe it’s the emotional tissue sprinkled over Afterimage but maybe, it’s because I sense that there’s a drive here that adds more value than I first expected. For Captives to draw that from me, I know they hold something alluring that I need to explore more.

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