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Calling All Captains – Slowly Getting Better
Calling All Captains
Slowly Getting Bettter - Equal Vision Records (ROW), Rude Records (UK)
Alberta, Canada pop punk / post hardcore outfit Calling All Captains may have been together since 2014, but they have just dropped their debut full length, Slowly getting Better via Rude Records (UK/EU) / Equal Vision Records for the rest of the world. quartet have built their reputation through relentless touring and the burning desire to prove that small town bands from the seemingly musical desert of the Canadian prairies can make their mark. As with most things in the world, the Coronavirus pandemic had interrupted their initial recording plans at the start of 2020, but following this delay the band was able to bring in producer Quinn Cyrankiewicz, who they worked with on their EP Nothing Grows Here‘ and safely record the album at The Audio Department in Edmonton.
On the first few listens, Slowly Getting Better seems to follow a relatively well trodden path blending the melodies of early 00s emo and classic hardcore in ways that bands like Funeral For A Friend and Every time I die amongst others have been paving for some time. That said, when Calling all Captains strike the right balance between these influences and don’t rely heavily on the screaming vocal, as with songs like opener Laurel Canyon, Loyalty and Loving Cup they really shine. With the latter in particular, the guitar work is heavy as shit and while the lyrics tackle some heavy subject matter, the final result is outstanding. Undone was one of the tracks shared ahead of the release and it’s easy to see why. A straight up pop punk banger with crushing riffs and melodies that will be dancing around in your head long after you’ve moved on.
Vacant Sentiment is another stand out, telling a relatable story of a relationship breakdown and the associated heartbreak, but the clean vocals and slightly subdued guitar and addition of background keys elevate this outside the realms of the formulaic clean & quiet / screaming & loud dynamic that sucks in far too many of their contemporaries.
Slowly Getting Better is a really solid debut LP with a number of seriously excellent tunes, however in my opinion the band are at their best when they move away from the post hardcore playbook and showcases what are some serious songwriting chops. Personally I wish there was a little more of this, but I accept not all will agree but I think it sets them apart from the plethora of other bands out there that offer something similar.
Slowly Getting Better was released on 29/10 via Rude Records in the UK and Equal Vision Records everywhere else!