Capacities
The Unexamined Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by csvhrvrnxell USER (7 Reviews)
October 24th, 2012 | 77 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kings of a dead genre.

In 2012 it’s hard to bring anything new to emocore. Through the melding of influences from across the punk spectrum, pioneering aggressive acts like Orchid and Jeromes Dream offered listeners an urgent tone and a potency of material that is largely absent from today’s scene. Enter Capacities, a promising four-piece New Jersey outfit featuring ex- and current members of a handful of seminal emo bands from the past decade. While they will undoubtedly be compared to the former projects of their members, Capacities do well to separate themselves from their collective past, and such comparisons will ultimately do little to distract from the quality of this new project.

The Unexamined Life impresses because it documents a band that understands the essence of a style that faded out a decade ago. Capacities reach back to draw on the undeniable immediacy of first-wave screamo bands without compromising their relevance. Initially the record sounds like a throwback, but repeated listens expose songwriting clearly utilizing the diverse palette of sounds in modern emo and hardcore, and rarely are those sounds used as effectively as on The Unexamined Life.

This album is a testament to the style’s essential elements, a statement of power explosive and pensive in all the right places, a stormy tone pervading throughout. The production and mix are raw but inviting, close enough to ensure each band member is clearly audible, but organic and rough, lending more intense sections a mangled wall-of-sound quality. Narrative song structures allow Capacities the freedom to explore a variety of moods in between fits of distortion, drums and throaty screams, violent episodes punctuating more brooding sections. It works very well for them.

It could probably be debated what the value is in a band like Capacities, so greatly indebted to their influences that with a cursory listen one might mistake them for a band formed fifteen years ago. And indeed, throughout the album there are traces of screamo lineage. “Hedgehog’s Dilemma” recalls the dark, swirling claustrophobia of Funeral Diner, sub-thirty-second rampage “Shigoto,” built from melodic but fractured riffs recalls Ampere, and Off Minor informs the brilliant second half of the title track. There is no shortage of bands influenced by late 90s and early 00s emo, but few approach their music with the same steady hand and tangible immediacy as Capacities. The Unexamined Life places them above the great majority of their contemporaries, and they will surely be turning heads in the future, with or without help from the reputations of their associated acts.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
sniper
October 24th 2012


19078 Comments


this came out way longer than i was trying to make it. could probably have gone with a 4.5 but i think i'm just having a thing for this album right now.

edit: oh yeah, and you can name your price to download the album on their bandcamp:

http://capacitiesnj.bandcamp.com/album/the-unexamined-life

eternium
October 24th 2012


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's so good. Fix the track listing.

sniper
October 24th 2012


19078 Comments


fixed. album slays.

Adabelle
October 24th 2012


4258 Comments


Sweet review dude, don't remember what I thought of this...

Also the recommended by reviewer made me double-take haha

#skramlyf

sniper
October 24th 2012


19078 Comments


you should give it another listen, i think it's one of the best this year, after loma obv

some of the recommended bands have members in this band now, but i wanted to avoid mentioning them in the review.

TheSpirit
October 24th 2012


17953 Comments


Fucking awesome review dude, you really should write more. Seeing how I love emo, I guess I NEED to check this out. When it comes to this stuff you probably my go to guy, I trust you with emo/screamo more than anyone else round here. Fuck yeah.

sniper
October 24th 2012


19078 Comments


yeah my last review was almost 2 years ago. when i feel like writing about an album it's easy but i usually don't feel motivated.

the album is really good, and at 13 minutes long, it has no time for bullshit. i really want to see them perform, supposedly they're a force of nature.

Hep Kat
October 24th 2012


15351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ear sex abuse

TheSpirit
October 24th 2012


17953 Comments


only 13 minutes long? fucking awesome, i love sweet, short and to the point releases like that.

sniper
October 24th 2012


19078 Comments


ear sex abuse
and spooning after.

yeah nothing satisfies like a good full-length that doesn't break 20 minutes

TheSpirit
October 24th 2012


17953 Comments


wow so this really good. will have to listen a bit more before i rate but im really digging it so far

Blackbelt54
October 24th 2012


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, I love this album

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


50703 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I keep forgetting to listen to this

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me in the River

sniper
October 25th 2012


19078 Comments


do it treb it will remind you why screamo rules face

PunchforPunch
October 25th 2012


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Liking this more than loma

sniper
October 25th 2012


19078 Comments


i can understand that but i disagree.

sniper
October 28th 2012


19078 Comments


guys listen to this i promise it rules

Blackbelt54
October 28th 2012


4276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah this is my favorite screamo since... i cant even remember

sniper
October 28th 2012


19078 Comments


this couldn't be produced more ideally for a band playing this style.

wacknizzle
October 28th 2012


13540 Comments


i hear this is pretty good, i should probably check it out.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae



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