Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled (Cover Artwork)

Captain, We're Sinking

Captain, We're Sinking: The Future Is CancelledThe Future Is Cancelled (2013)
Run For Cover Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: 10-4Eleanor10-4Eleanor
(others by this writer | submit your own)

2003 was a pretty awesome year. I can distinctly remember becoming acquainted and subsequently falling in love with two albums. First was The Lawrence Arms' The Greatest Story Ever Told and the second was Osker's 2001 LP, Idle Will Kill. As a 17 year old ingrate and unrepentant admirer of the '90.
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2003 was a pretty awesome year.

I can distinctly remember becoming acquainted and subsequently falling in love with two albums. First was The Lawrence Arms' The Greatest Story Ever Told and the second was Osker's 2001 LP, Idle Will Kill. As a 17 year old ingrate and unrepentant admirer of the '90s Epi/Fat style of melodic skate punk hitherto that point, I was simply not prepared for the depth and immensity of those two records. Though I was initially reticent to admit to myself that these two records would change my life more than any Deviates CD ever could, I eventually came around to the realization that the cerebral introspection and wit of Greatest Story and the irascible, emotive charm of Idle Will Kill would become the templates by which I would later gauge all melodic punk records. One decade and some life experience later, those two records still strike me as just as powerful and important as ever.

I only bring any of this up because for the last few weeks, I haven't been able to listen to anything aside from Captain, We're Sinking's The Future Is Cancelled, and it has earned its way into the winner's circle in my heart occupied by those two records I first heard 10 years ago. From the opening chord of the fantastically metallic and riff-laden opener, "Adultery" through the angular punk cadence of "Beer Can," the almost Propagandhi-esque "Here's to Forever," to the epic sing-songy outro of "Shoddy Workmanship," which reprises the chorus of the spectacularly quirky "Brother," the record paints a very gloomy, very self aware and extraordinarily enjoyable picture worthy to be adored by any fan of melodic indie-infused punk, and emulated by bands within the genre.

Even upon initial listening, this album struck me as being not only a mixture of all corners of what could be considered punk, but also perhaps the best refinement of the genre I've ever heard. Somehow, this record manages to emote like a less-dramatic Brand New song without boring the listener in "A Bitter Divorce," while fusing Braid-like technical rhythms with faster tempos and octave chords that bring to mind NOFX on absinthe in "The Future Is Cancelled." Oh! And speaking of the title track, there is a musical theme played on several songs throughout the record on various instruments that sounds like the bad guy theme from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Pair all of this with very interesting and atypical guitar leads (best typified by the totally weird verse of "You Have Flaws"), and some of the coolest fucking drum parts ever (The epic end of "Beer Can" and the time signature change in "Here's to Forever" for example), and what you have is certainly the most musically captivating punk record that's come out in years.

Lyrically, the record is extremely dark. In 38 minutes, dual vocalists Bobby Barnett and Leo Vergnetti cover everything tear-jerking, from prescription drug abuse and suicide to heartache, remorse and family problems. The Future Is Cancelled is a collection of stories about imminently relatable people in dismal life situations. The way that some of these lyrics feel like they could be about the listener and their friends or experiences is a huge part of this album's immense strength. Just when you think it couldn't get any more sad, the issue of god as a presence, fictional or not, in the lives of the characters on the record looms heavily and enigmatically. People seem slighted and spiteful toward god, like a jilted ex-Christian coming to terms with a loss of faith or a believer struggling to reconcile an all-loving god with the cruelness of their life. Despite all the existential woe mixed into the lyrics, there is a single line which appends a sort of silver lining to the rest of the album. The simple, yet anthemic "Things just have to change/My brother are you okay?" sang like a unifying theme (a la TGSET) in both "Brother" and "Shoddy Workmanship," gives the album a sense of almost uplifting continuity in the midst of a lyrical endeavor that is feverishly sad.

The Future Is Cancelled is a triumph of intelligently-conceived, darkly thematic songwriting as well as a welcome celebration of the scope and promise of all that punk music can offer. It brings to mind the feeling that overtook me the first time I heard "The Revisionist" or "Kinetic" and began to understand that an album can very much change your life.


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Flatliners - CavalcadeRed City Radio - TitlesAgainst Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
renaldo69 (September 4, 2014)

"Lake" is so powerful too. This record destroys.

leecarlson (December 31, 2013)

I still can't believe the transformation this band has made between it's a trap and this. It's unreal how much their songwriting and lyricism has matured.

fattony (June 26, 2013)

I strongly disliked this album on first listen. But it burrowed its way into my brain and is now among the best albums of the year at this point. Flawless from start to finish.

pokinatcha (June 15, 2013)

Getting more mileage out of this than I thought I would after the first week of listens. Seeing them live helped.

Digging Osker now too.

krankykirk (May 20, 2013)

also, went back and listened to the animals are out, and i wish it didn't sound like it was recorded in my anus, b/c the songs themselves are leaps and bounds ahead of most the shit that gets a free pass on this site.

krankykirk (May 20, 2013)

irish punk. . .have you honestly ever gave idle will kill a chance? if you havent, i will burn you a copy and mail it to you tm if you'd like. treatment 5 was totally generic snotty brat punk, but idle was fucking brilliant. it may not stick out that much today, but back in 2001 it was a breath of fresh air. ive always wished they would reform, but devon is out of his fucking mind now. oh, and this cws record is stupid good. bob is officially the cooler bro, cuz this is way better than that menzingers album.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (May 20, 2013)

actually, osker sucked.................

Filbunke (May 20, 2013)

This album sucks... because it's not on Spotify, so I haven't heard it.

keithybobeefy (May 19, 2013)

This is a great album.

danwazz (May 18, 2013)

Album is great. Glad people are appreciating in and this band. It's A Trap! was great, but this brings the band to a new level.

Sinman (May 18, 2013)

Great review of a great record. This thing truly is a masterpiece...

bastysmith (May 17, 2013)

I wasn't expecting this to be so good, I thought it was a bit corny to begin with. But as soon as the choruses kick in, it's a really enjoyable experience.

mattramone (May 16, 2013)

Best emo record I've heard in ages. Can't stop spinning this.

sawdonkey (May 16, 2013)

When the girl sings, this sounds like Coheed and Cambria.

party-animal (May 16, 2013)

This album is amazing, been listening non-stop. The lyrics are amazing and personal, agreed with everything in this review.
That said, I'll be submitting my review of Tim Browne's latest novel: Review of The Future is Cancelled.

TibbsTastic (May 16, 2013)

Took me a couple of listens but really enjoying this one! Great review too!

eran_zombis (May 15, 2013)

I was a big fan of It's a Trap, but Montreal was really poppy and glossy and it seemed like the focus was way too much on the vocals. It sounded like it was tailored directly for absolutepunk. I'll be interested to see if this is better.

FromAbove (May 15, 2013)

After just a few listens, I think it lacks the urgency and intensity of their earlier material. It was something about the delivery of the songs on the It's A Trap EP that made it stand out. Hopefully, the songs will grow on me, because it's at least sounds solid

MN_DrNick (May 15, 2013)

Classic Renaldo.... wait.... well played, Tim.

staceyfitz (May 14, 2013)

Album of the year material. I love it.

alien (May 14, 2013)

Will check it out.

Osker's idle will kill is one of my favorite albums ever. If only they would put it out on vinyl.

jvoland (May 14, 2013)

I like it... A LOT. Way better than their previous material. Perfect score is a bit of a stretch though, it's not a perfect record.

Renaldo69 (May 14, 2013)

Great record. Nice review. 4.5 stars.

@overdefined...dude do you HAVE to be a dick on everyone's score? Why don't you review or stfu man? You're getting old and boring with this crap

icapped2pac (May 14, 2013)

Hahaha, Mike. I gave it a couple thorough listens and it's definitely not for me. The new Banquets, Implants, and Ghostface Killah are occupying most of my listening time lately.

davebrave4 (May 14, 2013)

Wow....High praise....Guess I'll have to check this one out.

mikexdude (May 14, 2013)

Ha, 4 years ago I would have thought this would be up icapped2pac's alley.

icapped2pac (May 14, 2013)

I don't get it. I'm happy for your happiness over it though.

wyld_stallyns_rule (May 14, 2013)

Awesome album. and it's definitely in my top five of the year so far. Restorations, Dan Padilla, Low Culture, Captain, We're Sinking. So far this year is excellent.

yinzer (May 14, 2013)

This album is great! Well worth the wait !

kylewagoner (May 14, 2013)

I was told this was every bit as good as Bob's brother's band, so I really wanna hear.

overdefined (May 14, 2013)

This is a decent band, but 10 stars LOL.

schaumpton (May 14, 2013)
notfeelingcreative (May 14, 2013)

Still waiting on my copy but I love this band!

brittisrad (May 14, 2013)

Damn Tim, bravo. Excellent review and this album is definitely a contender for Album of the Year.

Thrusters (May 14, 2013)

great album, great review. if not for Restorations this would probably be my favorite album thus far this year, and for all I know, this might end up surpassing it by year's end.

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