Looking for a fresh focus following a ninety-day stint in rehab in 2016, guitarist Tyler Harper formed Capra with drummer, Jeremy Randazzo. With bassist Ben Paramore and vocalist Crow Lotus completing the line-up, ‘In Transmission’ finds the Lafayette, Louisiana outfit hitting the ground running with a debut album that is as equally brutal as it is thought-provoking.
Fusing metal, punk, and hardcore, ‘In Transmission’ is, according to Harper, “like being trapped in a tiny room with an unforgiving monster.” Quite a novel USP, I’m sure you’ll agree. There is a viciousness to this album, yes, but also an intelligence courtesy of the lyrics of Crow Lotus. Being a woman and also the child of an immigrant, Lotus throws harsh truths at the listener from all lyrical angles; from the more personal on the heavy-duty ‘Paper Tongues’ – detailing the troubled relationship with her mother when growing up – to the tribulations that women face every day of their lives on ‘Red Guillotine’. Given the brutality of the music on offer here the fact that these lyrics can be picked out with ease is testament to not only her talent as a lyricist, but also a vocalist.
What impresses me most about this album is the fact that, although the majority of it was recorded in December 2019, three of the songs – ‘Deadbeat Assailant’, ‘Mutt’, and ‘Transfiguration’ – were recorded during lockdown (with the band members entering the studio individually to record their parts), yet fit the sound of the album perfectly. You thought that the sound of lockdown was 8pm clapping and the banging of pots and pans, right? Think again.
I am reminded of the angular uneasiness of Norway’s Blood Command at times here – no doubt because of Crow’s vocals – and I pick up a ‘Birthing the Giant’ era Cancer Bats vibe on certain tracks. All in all, this is a bit of a noisy gem.
Author: Gaz Tidey