Captain, We're Sinking
The Animals Are Out


3.5
great

Review

by PumpBoffBag USER (81 Reviews)
April 27th, 2016 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...and long may they run rampant

With their 2013 release The Future Is Cancelled, Captain, We’re Sinking crafted something rather amazing. In an age when punk music is more of an aesthetic ideal than a genre all its own, the Pennsylvania quintet managed to distill the traditional values of the musical movement, telling the story of a relationship breakdown with a particular brand of verve and streetwise eloquence that targeted the heart of the range of emotions that inevitably surround such a scenario. The Animals Are Out serves as the first point where the promising outfit would cut their teeth; it lacks much of the impressive confidence of its successor, but displays a more prominent focus on the punk rock sound, and the band’s trademark sound is unmistakably present throughout. This, coupled with a decidedly more aggressive flair for the dramatic in terms of production and vocal style makes the release an impressive first full-length effort for the band and a worthy pre-cursor to one of 2013’s best rock releases.

In a twist on the classic punk stylistic of a simple, albeit catchy riff pervading just one composition, Captain, We’re Sinking incorporate a number of these motifs throughout single songs. The riffs may last for only one verse, one bridge section, or even less, but the integration of such elements never feels ill-fitting. It has the charm of a patchwork quilt- at times, some of the textures may clash, but the overall effect is woven together so beautifully and with such confidence, the finished piece tells a truly unique story. The production on The Animals Are Out is a mixed bag; it is a rough and unpolished experience to say the least, but this is much more of an asset to the band than they realize. It creates a decidedly punkier atmosphere, and gives the release an endearing, almost garage-band feel. Some keener layering on the vocal track would not have gone amiss though, as this does occasionally hinder the style and causes the sound to become rather one-dimensional and grating, ‘Curse These Long Dancer’s Legs’ being a prime example. One of the album’s weaker tracks, the shifting in volume, shout-along chorus and crowbarred-in bridge section mistakes recklessness for confidence. The production, in this case, betrays the underwritten composition and doesn’t allow the individual parts of the song enough breathing room. However, in stark contrast to this, tracks such as the following ‘Mediocrity Is Nothing To Brag About’, ‘The Mother/ Daughter Team’ and ‘Breaking The Fourth Wall’ all display such proficiency in weaving together their energetic bass and head-bobbing musicality, that the production is a positive boon to the overall effect. The latter especially displays a fantastically blended mixture of instrumentation and vocal, where every facet is allowed a time to shine- and at just shy of two minutes (the shortest song on the album), this is all the more impressive.

In terms of vocals, The Animals Are Out does exhibit slightly less depth than the profound bitterness found on TFIC, possibly owing to the fact that there is not a single thematic focus as centerpiece. Despite this, there are still deep, surrealistic leanings to be found in the lyricism that would become a more prominent factor on their later releases, allowing the release that same fun-loving feel but without the impending emotional crush. Pleasantly, the feel of a more traditional punk sound comes into its’ own on tracks such as ‘I’m A Product’, which displays a pacey and frantic vocal style, much in the same vein as early Bad Religion or Millencolin. The origin of the ‘Watch me as I fall’, lyrical motif which would later feature on ‘Beer Can’ on TFIC, also features on this track, which has a pleasant sense of continuity to it. The true beauty of the vocal style, however, is in the delivery. The vocal patterns and melodies serve as their own form of instrumentation, weaving tuneful melodies that harmonize with the main body of the musicality. This is a trend that the band have continued, and whilst it is still clearly something of a work in progress here, it is nonetheless still very clever, and is one of the key aspects of the band’s defining sound. ‘Are You Calling Me A Sinner"’ has a verse vocal style that borders on spoken-word but still flows with the form of the song's melody, once again wearing that feel of classic punk on it's sleeve, punctuating every hoarse, angsty wail.

Captain, We’re Sinking are the one to watch. They have a remarkable talent for making mildly abrasive rock music legitimately heartfelt and intelligent, allowing it to appeal to casual music enthusiasts, as well as fans of the genre. Those wishing the band had more of a traditional ‘punk’ sound will find a lot to enjoy on The Animals Are Out. The production issues are either a pro or a con depending on the listener’s viewpoint, but it cannot be denied that hearing the band in a different light such as this does definitely add an entirely new element to the sound, even giving slower tracks ('Death Of The First Born At The Hands Of The Almighty') a raw allure that would be hard to accomplish through any other means. The biggest overall complaint is that the album lacks the same calibre of relistenability the band would later go on to perfect. One of the biggest assets to the band’s sound is that their releases are positively overflowing with memorable melodies and song sections that pepper the entirety of the release, and TAAO is no exception. The problem is, here Captain, We’re Sinking are still attempting to define their sound, and as a result, these aspects are more fleeting, less assured, and slightly less creative. Flashes of their brilliance are found throughout, and the journey is still well worth taking, but a few tracks do fall into ‘passing fancy’ territory, which is a shame coming from the stalwart pop punk pioneers we’ve all come to love.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
PumpBoffBag
April 27th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

floats around a 3.2, 3.3. user average is pretty much spot on, thought I'd be generous.

cc appreciated as per.

Essence
April 27th 2016


6254 Comments


i'm still absolutely baffled that this is the same band as The Future is Cancelled

PumpBoffBag
April 27th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the essence (lol) of the band is still there- but would be a whole lot more obvious if the production was cleaner

Essence
April 27th 2016


6254 Comments


ayyyyyyyyyyyyy

yeah the production on this is like they were shooting for Cloud Nothings but fucked it up

Feather
April 27th 2016


5083 Comments


Damn it, I saw this on the front page and thought they had a new album since I never checked this puppy out

Essence
April 27th 2016


6254 Comments


it's okay

PumpBoffBag
April 27th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hush, it's better than that.

Not a patch on TFIC like, but still

Essence
April 27th 2016


6254 Comments


it's... okay

torts
April 27th 2016


4300 Comments


how the fuck is that the same band whay

Tunaboy45
April 27th 2016


16702 Comments


new album please

Essence
April 27th 2016


6254 Comments


listen to the singer's solo album if you want more goodness

Feather
April 27th 2016


5083 Comments


Bobby Barnett's solo album is great, shame its not on spotify

Tunaboy45
April 27th 2016


16702 Comments


Agreed his solo stuff is great.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2016


56343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet

bungy
April 29th 2016


8998 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is so good, they need to re-record some of these tracks like mother/daughter, neck romancer, like the gun in mary lou's handbag.







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