Capdown - Wind Up Toys
Charlie Southwell 07/02/2007
On the eve of Fierce Panda's 13th birthday as a label, Capdown release what is likely to be their most successful record to date, having adopted a new member on synth and samples, the band have changed its sound, whilst still retaining some of that old school Capdown ska that we grew to know and love. Glimpses of the old sound remain though, on tracks such as “Blood, Sweat & Fears” (my personal favourite) and “No Matter What” though the emphasis of this album are on the progression of the band and its new crunchy riff-tastic vibe.
Ska has died since their last full length albums outing which was over five years ago now. With the demise of bands such as Lightyear and Adequate 7, the genre has been left in a bit of a void. Remarkably “Surviving the Death of a Genre” leaves no doubt in your mind that this new sound has been conscientiously devised, whether by monkeys at the record label, or by the bands own genius. It succeeds which is the best achievement this album has to boast. It's brilliantly written with enough compatibly catchy riffs to make the album sound like an album, but with enough variation to make it sound like Capdown are caught in the middle of the transformation from an ugly chrysalis to a perfect yet rugged butterfly.
Beauty is not this bands strong point, neither can they (I presume) fly, no more highlighted by the fact Larry Hibbitt's (Hundred Reasons) production sounds dull. There isn't enough dynamic contrast within the album to create that authentic feel to which I can imagine their live show to explodes with. “Wind Up Toys” is a fantastic collection of songs with a strong rock twist. Lurching towards a hardcore sound with non so subtly screaming in “Trash Tuesday”.
Capdown have changed into something quite spectacular with “Wind Up Toys” especially their change of direction. Some will be disappointed that they aren't the pure ska-gasmic experience they once were, but I think its to their credit that this is something to grasp and enjoy rather than sit back with their old material. I can't wait to hear these new tunes live, and hopefully, be able to dance my shoes off. This gets a three out of the five stars purely because of the bad production which makes it sound mediocre, but the tunes are something I am rather excited by.