Review Summary: You're getting better at being alone.
For whatever reason, people seem to be able to immediately identify with bands that play sad punk music. Whether it's the easily-relatable lyrics, the mournful vocals or the general sense of comfort found within the music, there is just something about it that has given way to a new wave of bands in this vein. Captain, We’re Sinking
is among the most encouraging of these groups, having released their critically-acclaimed debut album in 2013. Perhaps the strongest aspect of that release was the incredible vocal work by Bobby Barnett, whose pained delivery induced instant memories of being home alone and drunk on a Saturday night. Now expanding his focus to acoustic music, Barnett has channelled the same spirit that made The Future is Cancelled
so captivating and, in doing so, created one of the best albums of 2014 to date.
The haunting melancholy, immensely-catchy hooks and terrific lyricism are all here and better than ever. Barnett’s anguished vocals are a perfect complement to the stripped down yet gorgeous guitar work. The general theme of longing for a past life echoes throughout the twelve tracks, but there is minimal repetition despite similar song structures throughout. In addition, the sense of uneasiness about the future that was present on The Future is Cancelled
is once again rearing its ugly head. Album standout "You're Getting Better" is a flawless track, capturing perfectly the sound of loneliness and regret. "17" is packed to the brim full of hollow nostalgic memories. Lines like “Analyze your life while sitting in the back of your best friend’s new car; and then dream about a future with no friends in it” will strike a chord in the hearts of many twenty-somethings that feel like they’re losing ground on their peers.
While the content is undoubtedly as depressing as it gets, there is an empathetic quality to Barnett’s voice suggesting that, just maybe, things will start to get better. It’s the voice that people hear in the back of their heads that keeps them from lying in bed all day, refusing to lay down and die. Every now and again, people need to hear that voice to get them through the day – to simply know that there is a way out. Little Wounds
is a near-perfect release that shows great promise to what should be a fantastic career going forward.