Captain of Compliments - Captain of Compliments (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Captain of Compliments

Captain of Compliments (2007)


To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the silly band name and artwork of indecipherable writing on singed paper -- I was expecting watered down screamo. When I looked at Captain of Compliments' MySpace page and they classified themselves as "indie/hardcore," I feared my suspicions were true. Thankfully, I listened to the music to discover that these guys actually do mix indie rock and hardcore in the tradition of Sunny Day Real Estate and mid-to-late-`90s Revelation Records material á la Texas Is the Reason and Sense Field.

On their self-titled debut EP, the band shows their age a bit. They use interesting and shifting sounds of soft melodicism and changing rhythms but never really seem to break out of the shadow of their influences for most of the album. They do set aside some glimpses of their unique potential, however, especially when they break out of their shell on "Seven-Seventeen." Bassist Nathan Arndt really gets some space to show off his skill and the incorporation of gang vocals combined with the catchy refrain of "I'm at the point where my friends don't even bother," make for a highly rewarding listen. It is increasingly common nowadays for bands to mix pop-punk and hardcore but Captain of Compliments succeed here in bringing together all that and what is sometimes referred to as "indie-emo." The last song on the album is a success due to their ability to toy with listener expectations."Tap Those Heels, Dorothy" starts with an engaging a cappella part that would lead you to believe you were in for a light twinkly number before the full band comes in for a catchy rocker that reminds me of something from Solea's first EP.

The subtle shades of the band's own personality lead me to believe they have great possibility for coming into their own sound. They shouldn't have left their two most promising songs for the end of the record, though. With bigger drums (although my version isn't the final product) and a little more restraint on the vocals, and some branching out a bit more from interpersonal relationships, this EP would already be a notch or two up. One thing is certain: CoC are definitely a band to look out for, especially considering there is a severe lack of music like this being made today.