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Album Review: Captain, We’re Sinking – The King of No Man

Captain, We’re Sinking’s last album, The Future Is Cancelled, became an era defining record for me – the kind of album with songs that get stuck to a time and place; a friend’s car, an old couch, a city I left – and it was all heralded by the band’s angular, aggressive, and melodic take on punk rock. It was the music of The Menzingers, the Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music, and Lifetime, but younger, meaner, and more desperate than any and all combined. The Future Is Cancelled was a record destined to be searched for tattooable lines, mined for meaning, and sung loud with open throats. It’s odd to think that it’s been four years since that record came out, and since then, save for a solo album and a B-sides and demos compilation, Captain, We’re Sinking has been relatively quiet. The new album, The King of No Man, is a welcome return for the Scranton punks – and no less an achievement than The Future Is Cancelled, arriving with a more expansive sound and just as cutting lyrics.

Much is made of the fact that singer and guitarist Bobby Barnett is the younger brother of Greg Barnett of the Menzingers, and perhaps rightfully. There are similarities between the bands – both write songs harnessed to real life, with strong emotional imagery laid on top of a foundation of melodic punk. Where they differ is their approaches to these elements. The Menzingers’ new album, After the Party is an incredible record, but you can see the differences in how the Barnett brothers handle their subject matter. The Menzingers tell stories. Their songs have characters, and through these perspectives everything else is rooted. Captain, We’re Sinking tells their stories almost exclusively through themselves, and there is more mood and imagery, mixed in with plaintive calls of rage and heartache. Captain, We’re Sinking’s songs are almost like violent and sad prose poems, only a dream removed from reality – abstracted but not abstract.

The King of No Man thrives in this area of visceral detachment. It’s the separation between the entity and the experience, leaving only the latter as this amorphous blob of bleak human reckoning. Sonically, Captain, We’re Sinking mirrors this by straying further away from the core sound of melodic punk, and to a small degree the sound of their second album. Where big choruses and jangly-chord Springsteen worship has been a hallmark of a lot of their contemporaries, Captain, We’re Sinking take a lot of influence from the edgy, teetering musicality of post-hardcore. It’s actually kind of funny, of all the bands who claim Hot Water Music as an influence, these Scrantonites might be the only ones who kinda sorta sound like them. It’s not an imitation, to be sure – a lot of people take gravelly vocals and singalongs as the only thing Hot Water Music had to offer – but instead it’s the Wollard-esque riffs, like the long stream of hammer-ons at the beginning of “Water,” or even the sharp crunching in the latter half of “The Future is Cancelled Part 2” that reveals their influence.

Another musical element that shows up in The King of No Man is almost an inevitability – the emo revival is here to stay, and Captain, We’re Sinking have clearly taken influence from this outcropping of noodly and contemplative bands. You can hear it in the production, which is a bit cleaner, but not enough to betray the spirit of the band. Clean arpeggios and tapping appear across the album, but in true Captain, We’re Sinking form, they’re utilized as a new tool. The chiming notes that run across “Hunting Trip” still have just an edge of distortions, as if the slightest loss of control could send the track caterwauling into dark and dangerous territory.

Despite all these influences, Captain, We’re Sinking implements them flawlessly. The King of No Man’s strength is that post-hardcore and emo are blended so well into this very songwriting-oriented style so that nothing feels out of place. One of my favorite moments across the entire album is in the opener, “Trying Year,” where they effortlessly break into a bendy rock n’ roll solo between walls of stuttering and chiming riffs. Such are the wide and malleable boundaries of Captain, We’re Sinking’s core sound, it doesn’t even feel odd for them to wail into Single Mothers territory with the fuzzy hardcore of “Don’t Show Bill.”

I’ve talked a lot about Captain, We’re Sinking’s relationship and influence from other music, but one of the other things The King of No Man has to offer is a sly connection to their past. The King of No Man shares traits, themes, and even riffs with The Future Is Cancelled, as if the albums were meant to run parallel to each other. My favorite song on the album, “Books,” shares hospital imagery with first album banger “Annina, We Will Miss You” and questions of faith with second-album closer, “Shoddy Workmanship.” “Books” will live on in live sets for years to come, as the line: “hands skillfully guide machines” becomes an audience-crooned favorite.

There’s also the most obvious argument for The King of No Man being a companion piece to The Future Is Cancelled, with “The Future Is Cancelled Part II.” The song continues the leitmotif from the previous album, but it’s darker and bassier, murkier than before, filling out the space between howled lyrics. It can represent the parallelity of experience; a divided by years, but the cycle remains sort of thing. Or it can be a true sequel, a bookmark of now referencing the bent corner of chapter two – either way, it’s an interesting stylistic choice that adheres these two albums together as canon.

The King of No Man is the kind of record you want your favorite band to release. Captain, We’re Sinking have made a work of art that references their past while spinning it into something entirely contemporary. It is an incredibly satisfying way to grow, especially for a punk band, a notoriously difficult genre to mature in. But, in the face of age and time, new trends and old tendencies, Captain, We’re Sinking have managed to create a powerful, raw, tough, and sincere collection of new songs that shine in their quiet parts, so they can burn in their loudest.

5/5 stars

Captain, We’re Sinking streams long-awaited new album ‘The King of No Man’ in full

Scranton punks Captain, We’re Sinking have premiered their long-awaited new full length. ‘The King of No Man’ won’t be out until the 23rd of June, but you can already give it a listen below.

If you dig it, you can pick up a copy via the Run For Cover webshop.

‘The King of No Man’ is the band’s first release since their amazing 2013 album ‘The Future Is Cancelled’.

Captain, We’re Sinking stream track “Water” off upcoming album

Scranton punk four piece Captain, We’re Sinking are now streaming another track off their upcoming album, The King of No Man.

The track “comes from a deeper, more art-rock angle,” with the entire album set for release on June 23, 2017. 

The quartet last released the 2013 studio album, “The Future is Cancelled.”

Stream “Water” below.

Captain, We’re Sinking stream “Trying Year” off upcoming album “The King of No Man”

Scranton, PA punks Captain, We’re Sinking are now streaming the opening track to their upcoming album, “The King of No Man” which is due for release on June 23 via Run For Cover Records. 

The four piece act last released the 2013 studio album, “The Future is Cancelled.”

You can stream the track below.

Bobby Barnett (Captain, We’re Sinking) releases live solo LP

Recently Bobby Barnett of Captain, We’re Sinking toured the UK with his brother Greg from The Menzingers. They hit up the Star and Garter in Manchester and Bobby’s full performance that night was recorded. The performance was put up on bandcamp for five bucks and the download comes with a bonus track called “Food” which Bobby describes as “well, you’ll see” as well as a “poorly made” video. You can stream the full album below.

Greg Barnett (Menzingers) & Bobby Barnett (Captain, We’re Sinking) announce UK tour

Greg Barnett of The Menzingers and Captain We’re Sinking‘s Bobby Barnett have announced they will be touring the UK together in early 2016. Dates and locations can be found below.

The Menzingers’ latest album Rented World released in 2013 through Epitaph Records. Captain, We’re Sinking released a self-titled compilation album earlier this year on Bandcamp.

Hostage Calm announce openers for final tour dates (Captain, We’re Sinking, Such Gold and more)

As you’re no-doubt aware, Connecticut’s Hostage Calm have got less than half-a-dozen shows left before they call it a career (well, until the reunion benefit shows and Die On Stage anniversary shows, but I digress). While the dates for said shows had already been announced, we had no word on openers…until now.

Such Gold will be joining Hostage Calm on the first three shows while Captain, We’re Sinking will appear in NYC and Philly. But wait, there’s more! Check out the full rundown, including ticket sale venues, below.

Hostage Calm released their final album, Die On Stage, on September 16, 2014 via Run For Cover Records.

Captain, We’re Sinking releases b-sides and singles compilation

Captain, We’re Sinking have released a new self-titled compilation album. The collection features song from various EPs and splits released in between the band’s first and second albums. You can give the compilation a listen below, or you can purchase it directly from the band via Bandcamp.

Captain, We’re Sinking last released The Future Is Cancelled released on May 14, 2013 via Run For Cover Records

Bobby Barnett of Captain We’re Sinking plays “A Bitter Divorce” for Space Jam Sessions

Bobby Barnett, the co-guitarist / co-vocalist of Pennsylvania punk act Captain, We’re Sinking, recently played a stripped down version of “A Bitter Divorce” for Space Jam Sessions while in Philadelphia, PA. Barnett was joined by vocalist Kara Boles for the performance, which you can watch below.

“A Bitter Divorce” originally appeared on Captain, We’re Sinking’s most recent LP, The Future Is Cancelled released on May 14, 2013 via Run For Cover Records. Barnett released a solo album, Little Wounds, on August 18, 2014.

Bobby Barnett (Captain, We’re Sinking) releases solo album “Little Wounds”

Bobby Barnett, the co-guitarist / co-vocalist of Pennsylvania punk act Captain, We’re Sinking recently released a solo album over on his Bandcamp page. The album is titled Little Wounds and features brand new songs in a mostly stripped down, acoustic fashion. You can listen to a stream of the album below, or buy it digitally for $5 USD right here.

Barnett released Little Wounds on August 18, 2014. There are currently no announced plans for a physical release.

Video Interview: Captain, We’re Sinking shoot the shit with Run For Cover Records

Scranton, Pennsylvania punks Captain, We’re Sinking recently sat down with the folks at Run For Cover Records to shoot the shit about being in a ska band with members of The Menzingers and Tigers Jaw, The Office, and pretty much everything Scranton.

Check the video out below – it’s definitely worth a watch.

Captain, We’re Sinking’s latest full-length The Future Is Cancelled was released on May 14th, 2013 through Run For Cover Records. Head over here to read our review of the record.

Lineup announced for Death To False Hope Fest IV (Arliss Nancy, Gunner’s Daughter, Wringer and much more)

Death To False Hope Records has unveiled the lineup has been announced for the fourth installment of the Death To False Hope Fest (or DTFH Fest IV, as the cool kids are calling it). It includes the likes of Captain, We’re Sinking, Gunner’s Daughter, Brian McGee of Plow United, Wringer, and an Arliss Nancy acoustic set amongst much, much more.

DTFH Fest IV is all ages and takes place May 2nd and 3rd in Durham, North Carolina. Click here for ticket info.

Captain We’re Sinking, Direct Hit!, The Menzingers, Bane, and more to play Bled Fest 2014

The mix-genre music festival in Howell, Michigan, Bled Fest has been announcing an additional band to its lineup everyday since the start of February. The lineup currently consists of Title Fight, The Menzingers, Man Overboard, Bane, Hawthorne Heights, Transit, The Flatliners, Cruel Hand, Self Defense Family, Dads, Pentimento, Direct Hit!, Old Gray, Young Statues, Knuckle Puck, Dr. Manhattan, Captain We’re Sinking, Forever Came Calling, The Saddest Landscape, Maps For Travelers, Grey Gordon, and Endeavors.

If your feeling lucky you can enter to win a free ticket to the festival, all you have to do is guess the correct band that is going to be announced on that given day, after receiving multiple hints from the festival’s various social media sites.  For more information regarding Bled Fest’s “Free Ticket February” click here.

Bled Fest will take place at the Hartland Performing Arts in Howell, Michigan on Saturday, May 24, 2014.

The Year’s 10 Best ANTI-Love Punk Rock Songs

With Valentines Day right around the corner we’re supposed to be buying flowers, writing cards and getting ready to celebrate that grand illusion called Love.  Well.  Fuck.  That.  We’ve compiled a list of The Year’s 10 Best Anti-Love Punk Rock Songs for all you jaded, disenchanted, heartbroken, and pissed off punk rockers out there who’d rather spend this holiday wallowing in self-pity or self loathing.


DS Staff Picks – Top 10 Albums of 2013 (Carson Winter)

2013 was all about maturation, blurring musical boundaries, and remembering the powerful fundamental of a great song. It was a great year, perhaps the best in recent memory. Left and right, I found releases that would become favorites, from both new and established artists.

This is the third end of the year list I’ve made in my time at Dying Scene, and I’ve got to say its been a pleasure to write. The thing about punk rock is that it’s a fluid movement. It reflects whatever malcontent is relevant at the time. It represents independent spirit, and whatever it means to do-it-yourself on a personal level. I’m excited to see where it takes us in the coming year.

Check out what I loved this year here.