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The Capital - 'This Place Matters' EP Review


1. Trouble

2. Harbour In A Storm

3. Rise Above It All

4. This Place Matters

5. Only Human

Some genres are best suited to smaller venues; bands start small (as most bands do) and blow away their audiences. They move from venue to venue, gradually increasing in size, before eventually (after a lot of album and ticket sales) they must start considering arenas and stadia. Sometimes bands will stick to what they’re good at, and don’t make this transition, sometimes they’ll try and fail, and sometimes they’ll succeed.

What then, of bands whose music suits the larger venue, but common-sense dictates that they must set their sights a little lower? I imagine that’s where The Capital might find themselves; they’ve developed a stadium rock sound but are currently playing to venues where you could fit 600 punters if they all volunteered to chop off their limbs. I hold my hands up (I still have them, I’ve never had to chop them off to get into a gig) I’ve not seen The Capital live, but I wonder how their sound suits the venues in which they currently ply their trade.

‘This Place Matters’ is an EP which you can imagine having foisted onto your iTunes without your consent, listening to a couple of times because, well it was free, then not really bothering with again, unless that’s your sort of thing. It starts promisingly enough with a gentle fuzz that gives way to a cracking bass heavy intro with crashing percussion for the opening track ‘Trouble’ but, for me, that intro was pretty much the highlight of the whole record. I like to listen to music a fair few times before I deliver my ill-informed judgement, but no matter how many times I’ve listened to this EP, I still find that I’ve forgotten it as soon as it finishes. ‘Rise Above It All’ is probably the stand out track, and really does show the potential of the band- with uncompromising guitar delivering a relentless riff which, along with a strong vocal, manages to deliver the goods. The rest of the record just washes over me, melodic rock catering for a mass market, with anthemic singalongs that, unfortunately I don’t want to sing along to.

The Capital have a heart-breaking backstory; Andy and Rob used to play with Failsafe, whose guitarist and some time lead vocalist sadly died suddenly in early 2015. Failsafe played genuinely exciting rock music, with absolutely no let up, and would have undoubtedly smashed their gigs in smaller venues, quite how they would have fared in stadia, will never be known. Like the Foos rose from the ashes of Nirvana, producing a less abrasive and perhaps less exciting sound, so The Capital have emerged from the sad demise of Failsafe. Whether they go on to fill the arena and stadia that their music seems to aspire to, remains to be seen.

Review - Jon Stokes

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