ALBUM REVIEW: Capstan – Separate
It is no secret that the last year or so has been difficult for all of us, for reasons that don’t need to be outlined. However, guitarist/writer Joe Mabry’s experience of this period has only been made worse through experiencing a divorce – and this record unapologetically hammers home the emotional torment that he has been going through.
In many ways, he is the man in the album cover staring at the dark moon which still has some light pushing through, as he knows that things will get better deep down, although the darkness blinds most of it out. In Separate, Mabry prescribes his pain upon a record that refuses to pull punches.
Immediately, the riffage of Harrison Bormann and Mabry announce your entry into the record. Anthony DeMario’s frantic vocals, which are reminiscent of Jordan Dreyer (La Dispute), match up perfectly with the intricate and chunky riffs that he is provided with.
Lead single shades of us’ grand riffs and melodic choruses are strongly similar to early A Day To Remember, which is no bad thing at all. DeMario’s cries of “I got so close, I could taste it” are pretty harrowing.
Lyrically, the single depicts the narrator coming to a moment of realisation, that their relationship is failing, and the final breakdown of “When finally the colours showed, Left on your own” is a brutal way to top off the track.
From this intense track to a slightly less intense track, in spite of its name. take my breath away // noose has a lovely funky bassline that flows through the song courtesy of bassist “Boz”.
Undoubtedly, this track has the best chorus on this record, that the likes of Green Day, Dua Lipa, Maroon 5 would be proud of. Do not be surprised to see this one on your Tik Tok feed.
Shane Told of Silverstein guests on the first of three features on this record with alone, which features undoubtedly one of the worst Sam Carter (Architects) ‘bleurgh’ impressions you’ll ever hear.
Aside from this blip, the track continues the theme of melodic modern pop choruses tied to big breakdowns – although the overproduced breakdown in this track does miss – as to be frank, it just sounds ugly.
blurred around the edges has an unorthodox feature from saxophonist Saxl Rose that works rather brilliantly. The track begins with a pretty ordinary emotional pop-punk vocal solo, but the saxophone does add a really nice touch soon after, but then it simply disappears for the rest of the track.
You’re only given a snippet of the potential Saxl Rose could’ve had in the track, sadly.
tongue-biter, abandon, and shattered glass follow in a trio of tracks that follow the Capstan‘s formula pretty well for the majority of this record – they are the sort of tracks you can see fans of the band really enjoying, but perhaps not the masses.
In the album format, they are pretty forgettable due to their similar sounding nature, but they are by no means bad tracks. Although, lines like “I’ll never be alright, I’ll never be okay” in shattered glass are used around every corner of pop-punk all the time, so they certainly don’t help themselves when it comes to writing forgettable tracks.
Switching up the vibe, sway has some gorgeous guitar work, which DeMario and feature Charlene Joan’s voices compliment fantastically. The subtle drumming of Scott Fisher also works brilliantly in one of the band’s best tracks to date.
Finishing off the record, decline’s frenetic riffs end the record as it began. It is the heaviest track on the record and does slap hard despite one last failed ‘bleurgh’ attempt.
“I know it gets better but I think it gets worse” is the vocal that is echoed around the finale of the album. That one line almost perfectly sums up the message Separate puts forward, in a record that hits as much as it misses.
Standout Tracks: pretext, shades of us, sway (feat. Charlene Joan)
For Fans Of: La Dispute, A Day To Remember, Holding Absence
Written by: Joe Loughran