Review Summary: Complex it is not, but if you want upbeat punches of emo, than yes, Cap’n Jazz is about as good as it gets.
Cap’n Jazz aren’t the best band in the world. This is abundantly clear. Cap’n Jazz is a band that does not possess that much skill behind their instruments, and as a result, they sound rather sloppy. Cap’n Jazz also aren’t the most emotional expressive band in the world. Their music is childish, immature, and would offend people that are looking deep into their music. In any traditional sense of musical definition or critiquing, Cap’n Jazz should have been an absurdly AWFUL band. However, Shmap’n Shmazz
does indeed prove otherwise, as their immature, prepubescent attempts at hardcore and emo make that type of music not only fun, but legacy making.
The musicianship at hand works well. With pop punkish chords, rattling, messy hardcore drums, and hectic emo structures, Cap’n Jazz takes signatures of three different genres of punk, and essentially throws them into a melting pot and sees how they fit together later on. And you know what? It works! Occasional tweedles, gang vocals, and a saxophone are also brought into the mix, and admittedly it gets a bit overwhelming at times or at least seemingly so. However, despite that, Cap’n Jazz use that to their advantage, and this packing of ideals, this over-ambitiousness, makes their music all the more fun and exciting. “Bluegrassish” has a couple of folky hints, but proves to just be utterly silly, and rides right into the twiddly slower track “Planet Shhh”. “Basil’s Kite” even incorporates a saxophone, albeit unexpectantly.
Mixed in with the upbeat chord oriented guitars and all around silliness are the vocals, the true focal point of the records appeal. His voice sounds strained, higher ranged, and he belts these absurd lyrics. From purring “kitty kitty kat kitty kitty kat” on “Little League”, shouting the partial alphabet on what is otherwise the heaviest song in “In The Clear”, talking about “boys kissing boys” on “Bluegrassish”, surely this must be a kid. That, in essence, is the basic point of his existence. His shouts sound natural and throaty, while his singing voice is more of just a whimper, the cry of a pup even by comparison to his peers.
Which seals this point: Cap’n Jazz aren’t at all about power. Shmap’n Shmazz
isn’t about power in voices, or true strength or emotionality. It’s stripped down, bare bones music in the best sense: it works. While they incorporate a lot of elements from all kinds of genres of punk, in the making of this it was probably not even looked over. Complex it is not, but if you want upbeat punches of mini-emo, than yes, Cap’n Jazz is about as good as it gets.