Known primarily for unruly live performances and a powerful stage presence, five piece hardcore outfit, Capsize, have planted a flag on the sunny streets of Southern California with a grimy sound and frenetic pace they wave proudly in their scene. Riding the wave of progressive and melodic hardcore that has caught the ears of fans in the underground and Equal Vision Records, Capsize’s limited discography hasn’t stopped them from relentless touring and rising popularity.
This band was recommended by a friend of mine at Winona Sate last year. She and I shared the same appreciation for Volumes and Texas In July (another band on the Equal Vision roster) and encouraged me to take a listen. I watched the music video to a single from this album and didn’t call it my cup of tea, so I put it on a back burner.
When I began to move past my phase of death metal and settle into tastes with more melody, composition, and rawness, I decided to give Capsize another chance at the beginning of this summer. I watched the video for Calming, Crippling, and I dug the intensity. I slowly began to digest this album one bite at a time, but haven’t given this record one straight sit down. I’ll get into why later.
As I said in the intro, this band drives in 4th gear, leaving little room for slowing down. With that said, this album does have its moments of transition, slow moving passages, and sludgy riffs, but the songwriting on this record is relentless. As with most bands in this scene that I’ve heard, the song structures are pretty dynamic – tempo changes, dyadic clashes between the melodic and churning, distorted guitar tones, and bass lines to groove to. I will say that across ten tracks, some of the faster passages begin to blur together to the same cadence and sound as many others, which takes away from some of the song’s novelties. This record ends up relying on the subtleties in each track that makes it distinct. To me, the drumming on this record sounds like rudimentary hardcore, but it does appropriately keep with the style… not to mention that their drummer goes ham behind the kit in their music videos! I think the title of this record fits singer Daniel Wand best, because when I hear this guy scream into the mic, I hear unrelenting angst.
The way he gasps for air in between each line and yells these maxims of pent up rage feeds this record’s appetite for chaos.
Calming Crippling was the first song that I listened the full way through and as aforementioned, has a live music video. The first minute and a half of this track boasts a pretty groovy riff that goes into one of the more intense moments of this album. At the half way mark, there’s a notable looping guitar line that’s catchy and marks time against the chaos. The beginning of Pale starts like a pop punk song until the drums and rhythm guitar assault this track and launch into a familiar fast paced passage. The title track has one of the catchiest riffs that kicks off the song and keeps making its appearances throughout. The chorus becomes this start stop sing along moment that is sure to rile up and live audiences, which transitions into the song’s post chorus/bridge section. It has this dizzying drum fill that takes an unexpected turn. This album ends with Spent – probably my favorite song on this album, which has not only the catchiest intro on the whole record, but also has this delirious pace it sprints at to the finish.
The subject matter in this record is lurid and slightly vulgar in its presentation. Lead singer Daniel Wand holds no punches when he writes about his lack of place, betrayal, addiction, isolation, and slow burning frustration at the world. Calming, Crippiling and Spent are probably the most poignantly tense of them all, detailing the self destructive high of addiction and giving up the idea of being accepted by anyone. I’ve said before in other reviews, but metal and hardcore have a propensity for being lyrically dark by nature of the music. I usually don’t need that kind of low brow anger to satisfy the musical itch, but with this record, it’s fitting. I read many of these lyrics and was able to identify a time in my life where I felt the same way. In my opinion, that gives these songs more breath.
With that said, this album is hard to stomach if you don’t fancy such lyrical agony. I know for me, it’s one of the reasons that this record can be hard to listen to.
One of the things I’m beginning to like about hardcore is its unkept presentation. Most metal I’m into is pretty refined, but albums like this need this kind of unpolished, grimy sound. Though the guitar tone is filthy, the drums, bass, and even the vocals maintain their integrity. They’re captured in a way that takes a snapshot of their live atmosphere but still contains their animal nature. The sound and feel of this record bulrushes you from start to finish.
Waka Flocka Flame claims to go hard in the paint… he never listened to this record. Bottom line and all jokes aside, this album is a beast. Though I have some good impressions, there were parts of this record that felt like a blur, and ten tracks is hard to sit through. I don’t even have the stomach to sit down with The Angst In My Veins the whole way. I’ve had to take this record in stages and piece together my impressions as I went through. I’d recommend this for anyone who wants a straight forward hardcore record with some progressive elements and melody laced throughout.