The Capitol Years "Let Them Drink" (Burn & Shiver 2005)
Uninspired Retro Pop Tries Too Hard Answer "Who's Next?"
The Capitol Years, allegedly Philadelphia's best-kept secret, had the honour of opening The Pixies first gig in 12 years a couple of years back. Yet this 2005 release, only just available in the UK, doesn't press their case nearly as well as that brag. Sure the band sound tight and well drilled but this is uninspiring stuff. The extended psychedelic chant that is "Nothing To Say" toward the end of the record just about sums it up, singer Shai Halperin repeating the song's title over and over. There are certainly fat riffs aplenty on 'Let Them Drink' but each sounds as if it was directly lifted from "Who's Next," or "Exile on Main Street," a similar problem that other backwards-looking power-pop wannabes face.
The album kicks off with 'Juicers' which may contain some nice Byrds-style harmonies, but they can't disguise the tiresome melody and somewhat inane lyrics. 'Mounds of Money' and 'Lucky' offer more punchy retro rock, the sort of tunes that Jet have taken to the top of the charts. Yet this only evokes a feeling that you've heard these songs before. Worse still, 'Solid Gold' and 'Everyone Is A Skunk' wear the influence of The Who way too overtly, particularly on the bass soloing which is almost note-for-note from Entwhistle's back catalogue. Despite the band's obvious talents, this album won't appeal to listeners looking for something innovative. Wait until these guys do have something to say before wading in to sup.
Date review added: Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Reviewer: Nic Fildes
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