Sound — 7
Six years is a long enough period to forget about anything and anybody. But not when you're talking about true music fans. For those who waited and kept the fingers crossed for Capdown, here is their third album Wind Up Toys, six years after the previous record. Has anything changed over years? Well, yes. Apart from trite maturity, the band expanded in many ways -- first of all by the addition of a new band member -- keyboard player Andrew Hunt. This doesn't mean any change of the genre though -- it is still their own distinctive good ol' ska punk and it often seems the guys have hired a horn section instead of a keyboardist. On Wind Up Toys the band have gone heavier and more guitar-based, which might be a merit of the producer Larry Hibbitt, Hundred Reasons guitarist. Thus the band is rocking even more passionate and with a great power. There are furious punk verses and slower laid-back ska breaks and choruses. All the instruments sound very organic together, creating a focused mayhem with syncopated drumming, thrashing or reggae guitars and melodic saxophone. Balancing between ska and punk, Capdown often leans towards one genre, ignoring another. Tracks like rock steady No Matter What makes you wanna reach for a pipe and chill out smoking slowly. The follower Thrash Tuesday, being only one-minute song, nevertheless quickly brings you back to life with it's intensity and aggression. Being not mass-oriented band, Capdown don't throw any tacky stuff in the mix. You would barely find any catchy or sing-along chorus, instead a lot of tracks have very hooky guitar riffs, supported by Jacob Sims-Fielding's saxophone.
Lyrics — 7
In their songs the band tells about life as they see it. According to Capdown, there are no things to be happy with in the world -- the sharp poetry is about wasting lives, shitty musicians and rich bastards. The politics and especially war have become an inspiration for many recent songs by different musicians. Capdown couldn't miss such a riotous subject and Home Is Where The Start Is is exactly about it. As vocalist Jacob Sims-Fiel yells out You get what you want using war. Sims-Fielding more yells than actually sings, often laying different effects over his voice. Which doesn't make the music any worse, adding hardcore attack to ska rhythms. Sims-Fielding sounds better on this record than on any of the previous ones. Not only did his voice become stronger, he is also expanding the singing abilities. It turns out his vocal range is wider than we used to think.
Overall Impression — 7
There are a lot of bands on the scene nowadays that declare a similar kind of music rebellion and still Capdown sound different -- they are more rough and bounce than anybody out there. In No Matter What the band states We are the ones/Who despite all odds still come sounding fresh. I highly doubted that -- a band that didn't put a single song out for six years, barely changing the sound on something they've finally released. Most of the records like this turn out to be nothing more than a nostalgic bow to the times long gone. Not in this case. Capdown do sound fresh and original with cheeky lyrics and energetic music.