Captain, We're Sinking - The Animals Are Out (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Captain, We're Sinking

The Animals Are Out (2008)

Lock and Key Collective

One of the problems with reviewing a disc is that there is that people always assume that you are reviewing the band itself, and the quality of the songs they've written. And while it would be nice if it were that simple, the production quality of a disc can have a huge impact on the score.

Exhibit A: The Animals Are Out. Though rough production is often more of a blessing than a curse, the lack of production on this disc causes it to often feel sloppy, and at times the noise can be a bit grating due to its rough recording. Admittedly, these flaws are magnified by the band's inexperience, as many of the tracks feel like they could have used just a little bit more time in the oven for preparation.

The band clearly draws influence from Hot Water Music and Against Me!, but also from contemporaries like The Menzingers (not-so-coincidentally, Tom from the Menzingers makes a guest appearance on the disc). The band is certainly in Org-core territory, with shouted vocals and big choruses, perhaps best illustrated on "Curse These Long Dancer's Legs," one of the standouts on the disc. The track is a fair indicator of what to expect on the rest of the disc, which isn't to say that the band doesn't offer up a few curve balls. "Are You Calling Me A Sinner?" plods along at a slow pace but packs a tremendous punch with its ferocious chorus, while "Death of the First Born by the Hands of the Almighty" is an acoustic number which features the kind of vocal harmonies that would make that a cappella group that stood around a barrel in the Rocky movies jealous. Well, maybe that's going a little far.

When Captain, We're Sinking's music video was mentioned in our New Music Roundup, most of the comments posted emphasized the same opinion: these dudes have potential. And after listening to their entire full-length a number of times, I can confirm that it was not just the few songs they had streaming that give off that vibe, as the entire disc screams potential. The unfortunate thing, however, is that this potential is never quite realized through the disc's 32 minutes. Despite this, The Animals Are Out is by no means a failure: the disc is full of catchy melodies and energy, it certainly entertains and it is well worth a few listens. The pieces for success are all here, it's just a matter of further developing the ideas into a more complete package with a better coat of polish – something Captain, We're Sinking are no doubt capable of.