Capra – In Transmission
Blacklight Media Records/Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 23/04/2021
Running Time: 32:27
Review by Steven Hooke
The mixing pot of punk, hardcore and metal will never not be a good time. The ‘fuck you’ energy, the frenetic pace, the almighty riffs, it is a Holy Trinity in alternative music and should be held aloft with pride, alongside spiky belts, black band t-shirts and dodgy haircuts.
Every now and again though, you find a band that *gets* it, and Louisiana-based troupe Capra really, really gets it.
The now-five-piece (hello Trevor!) came together after a mutual desire between guitarist Tyler Harper and drummer Jeremy Randazzo to bring the excitement and nostalgia of 90’s and early 00’s hardcore to the present day, complete with a modern sheen. After solidifying a line-up that would come to include bassist Ben Paramore and vocalist Crow Lotus, the group eventually set to work on their debut album, “In Transmission”.
The one-word summary for this album would definitely be “aggression”. From the intro track that sounds cut from the main menu of a horror game to the assortment of riffs that possess the frenetic energy of Converge – but also the head-rocking groove of Cancer Bats, and the vitriolic fables spewed forth by Lotus, “In Transmission” often feels like a therapeutic outlet for the band in the face of their battles over the past few years.
A blistering start to the album proper in ‘Hollow Doll’ sees the band tread into Svalbard-esque blackened hardcore territory, before a smooth transition into the album’s lead single, ‘The Locust Preacher’. Possessing a mid-song build akin to ‘Beside the Ones We Love’-era Palm Reader and a litany of riffs seemingly inspired by Every Time I Die, the song is an all-too-real account of depression, and the entrapment one feels inside your own mind and body.
And on that point, this album does not let up lyrically. Primary scribe Crow Lotus puts various subjects on blast, including failing governments, oppression, sexism, and toxic relationships. Cries of “Am I a product of my surroundings, or does the nightmare follow mе?”, “For the weaknesses within yourself, that you don’t have the strength to address” and “They’re not in control of their bodies and somehow that’s my fault” reverberate in the mind each and every time, in a delivery that invokes Ren Aldridge of the Petrol Girls at her most furious, the swagger of ETID’s Keith Buckley, and the ferocity of Gouge Away’s Christina Michelle. In the words of the lady herself, Lotus states “I intend to give a voice to the people who are often overlooked”.
On the musical side of things, the guitar work of Harper cannot go without comment. Once the album kicks in, it rarely relents, maintaining that high-adrenaline attack throughout its near-33 minute runtime, but at no point does it feel like the riffs are running out. “In Transmission2 may stay at that intense level, but it never feels repetitive or running dry on ideas. ‘Red Guillotine’ and ‘Deadbeat Assailant’ in particular, showcase an excellent collection of six-stringed slappers.
Capra joins an ever-increasing army of female representation in punk no longer content with simply sitting on the sidelines or even just being happy to take part, they have become the scene. From pop punk, to crust, to hardcore, to powerviolence, to straight-up punk rock, punk music has a plethora of female-perspective bands brewing in the underground, stretching all the way up to ticket-shifters at festivals. On their first outing as a solid unit, they have opted to go straight for being mad as hell and raising a ruckus on what fires them up the most. The addition of a second guitarist will only add depth to their already vicious sound, and the band are already contemplating their next step to make up for the time stolen from them by COVID. If the pandemic has given them another reason to be angry (which it most certainly would have done), then we are in for a hellacious treat.
‘Medusa’ (Official Video)
02. Hollow Doll
03. The Locust Preacher
05. Torture Ship
06. Paper Tongues
09. Red Guillotine
10. Deadbeat Assailant
11. Samuraiah Carey
Crow Lotus – Vocals
Tyler Harper – Guitar
Ben Paramore – Bass
Jeremy Randazzo – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Steven Hooke and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.