Melodic hardcore unit Capsize have been a relentless machine ever since turning up on the scene a few years ago. Endless tours book end writing and recording sessions as the band have already racked up an EP, two 7” records and an album and are now onto their sophomore effort, and looking to cement their place in our world for the foreseeable future.
‘XX (Sew My Eyes)’ takes us into the record with the usual big and brash style of riffin’ the band throw out and do so well with discordant passages thrown in for an added sense of unsettling nature. However for the first time there’s actually a chorus, and an infectious one at that. Vocalist Daniel Wand has come on leaps and bounds with his singing voice, utilising his ability and range more to create a brand new aspect of the bands sound. It makes up the bulk of the vocals on the follow up “I Think It’s Best We Don’t Talk Anymore”, another dose of melodically laced vocals and must nicer guitars from Ryan Knowles and Nicholas Lopez. The albums best song comes in the form of ‘Tear Me Apart’ which features guest vocals from Counterparts Brendan Murphy. The band have consciously made the decision to soften their sound to best facilitate Daniel’s new singing voice, which is a shame in the sense that a lot of the intensity and ferocity that shines through in the bands music has gone.
Thinking that the usual stomp and riff storm would come back into the fray the more the album went on evaporated more and more with each passing track. Especially when the mid album break of ‘Safe Place’ started. A slowed down, sombre and minimal effort from the band cemented the fact that what we loved originally about this group might be gone for good. This song in particular was good to hear as it shows that there’s more to their songwriting than previously thought, but from here on out its more of the same.
Taking the change in direction for what it is there’s plenty to get excited about and to enjoy, ‘One Day I Won’t Be so Easy to Forget’ brings the softer dynamic crashing into the heavy open stringed beatdowns that get the blood pumping so well whilst ‘Split My Soul’ could easily have come from the early 00s post hardcore surge. There’s still work to do to nail what they’re trying to do but this is a decent start. A lot of promise and expectation rides on the shoulders of this young band and we’re sure they can deliver something special on the next record, this is just a little too drastic a change and at times confused sounding.
Review by Joshua Clarke