By: Jay Broderick - Like most music genres, punk rock has seen it's many iterations. From it's early inception in the 1970s with bands like The Ramones and Sex Pistols, the styles varied from new wave (Blondie and XTC) to the newest forms of punk revival with The Strokes and The Killers carrying the torch.
While I never was a massive fan, there was some fantastic music to come out of the movement. But it was the music from the late 1970s that peaked my interest the most, coming from a style called hardcore. It would be some years after the sounds from bands like Misfits and Agnostic Front hit the streets that they touched my ear drums. By the mid 1980s, I was well into my heavy metal stage, so hearing anything that was fast, heavy, and angry sounding was right up my alley! But again, I wasn't completely enamored with the style of music. It was good, but it was never my go-to musical genre.
Then something beautiful happened... skater punks Suicidal Tendencies "crossed over", and a new subgenre was born. It was a cross-over of hardcore punk and heavy metal. Yes, I did really like the band's self-titled debut, and their follow up Join the Army, but it was ST's 3rd album How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today in 1988 that I had found a new love. So much so, that we wore the cassette tape out having played it in my 1971 Dodge Coronet over and over and over. The vehicle only had one speaker in the back that was completely full of cracking and popping noises. But we didn't care!! The music was fucking amazing!
Fast forward 35 years, and a band called Capra came into my radar thanks to some amazing music publicists I have come to work with since LOUDTO's inception. Capra was formed in 2016 by guitarist Tyler Harper and drummer Jeremy Randazzo, and they released their first album in 2021, entitled In Transmission. Now, in 2023 the band is set to release their sophomore offering Errors. Rounding out the sound for Capra is vocalist Crow Lotus and bassist Trevor Alleman. Shall we take a closer listen?
Errors starts off with a bang in the lead track "CHSF" that enters like a very early Metallica (Kill 'em All) beginning reminiscent of "Hit The Lights", but the similarities end 15 seconds in when Lotus' voice come screaming in. Forget pop punk, or punk revival... this is hardcore! The singer's vocal's are exasperated, with a "Fuck You!" attitude. If you're ready to explode, this opening track is going to be a massive outlet! The aggressiveness of the band continues through "Tied Up", which was the band's first single from the new album, and "Silana". These songs have that same raw vocals from Lotus, but have more iconic hardcore elements from the guitars and drums.
The tempo drops to a heavier burn on "Trauma Bond". Well, at least for the first minute. The intensity crashes through at the 1 minute mark, making sure we don't get too complacent. Backing vocals during the chorus add another layer of fullness to the band's sound.
At 4 minutes and 12 seconds long, "Kingslayer" is the longest track on Errors. All the other songs come in between lengths of 2:22 and 3:34, which provides an explosive tempo that simply doesn't let you rest, but "Kingslayer" is the highlight of this record. The music on this one has that similar Metallica Kill 'Em All feel similar to the opening track on the album, but the thrash sound carries through the entire track. I love the speed, and the crunch of the guitar. The riffs are as metal as you can get. Add the hardcore vocal element of Crow Lotus, and the backing vocals, and the song has the perfect mix that a crossover should have.
The rest of the album has the same explosiveness as the first half of the record. Candace Kucsulain-Puopolo of Walls of Jericho collaborates on the album's second single release "Human Commodity", and Glassing's Dustin Coffman joins with backing vocals on a number of tracks. The album is unrelenting.
With the last track, things are turned upside down. "Nora" starts hauntingly, followed by a furious drum beat, and then a much more melodic number, with a slow beat, sound effects and pianos. Lotus's vocals are pleading, and promising. It's almost a sigh of relief from the singer who has clearly sung her voice raw over the previous 28 minutes. "Everything will be just fine! I'll be yours, and you'll be mine!"
Tied Up 2:22
Trauma Bond 3:34
Human Commodity 3:16
Obligatory Existence 3:31
With its pounding, driving beats, and thrash metal licks, musically, this album kicks ass! But it's the vocals of Crow Lotus that put this album over the top. It's one of the best hardcore/thrash crossovers I've heard in decades.
Release Date: October 6, 2023