Above It All
Capital's debut full-length Above It All is a rock and roll gem waiting to be discovered. Shedding the Brit-pop skin that they wore on their original demos, the South Carolina band now dons a crisper, classic rock and roll sheen (thanks in part to producer Dave Cobb, formerly of The Tender Idols.) Above It All does not sound like a self-financed record. Just listen to the full bass that writhes around the taut, beat-flipping rhythms set up by drummer Kenneth Salters on "Can't Get Off." Dig into the pissed off, kiss off of the opening cut "Famous" for more catchy-but-edgy hooks than you'll see on any modern rock radio programmer's play list. Bookend that with the last song "What Keeps You Up." This one pulses slowly. There may be a sinister undercurrent, but the gorgeous strings (is that a mellotron?) keep the whole shebang afloat for a dreamy ending that shows off the diversity of the quartet and the compositional skills this band is lucky enough to own. Other highlights include "Invincible," which shows off Ry Adams' snotty punkish voice. On the other side of Ry's coin is the gorgeous pure pop double tracked vocal of "Luckiest Man In The World." The latter should surely be a single. It's melodic, pretty and timeless. However, in a perfect world, "Round Again" would be the ubiquitous track for rainy summer days. With its Ringo Starr-style splashy drumming and chiming guitar work from Noel Rodgers and Todd Mathis, this one takes Capital way beyond the Oasis flavored sound of their earlier recordings and into the realm of Paul McCartney's early '70s work with Wings. Displaying just the right amounts of pure songwriting ability, dead-on musical performances, strong (but thankfully not too perfect) vocals and rock solid production, the title of Capital's new disc speaks more concisely than I could about where the band stands in relation to all other comers locally and nationally. This is a great rock and roll record.