Published Nov 25, 2019There's nothing terribly groundbreaking about Capitol's style, and they'll be the first ones to admit that. "We drew inspiration from some of our favourite bands — Joy Division, the Cure, Slowdive — each decades old, with a sound that still exists and could still pass for modern," the Hamilton, ON band said before the release of their debut record.
So while it's easy to sit there and debate how much Dream Noise rips off Interpol's Turn On the Bright Lights, the bass work of Peter Hook or how the influence of Souvlaki will never go away, there's no hiding this record holds up perfectly well on its own merits.
Sculpted from shoegaze-y guitars, driving bass, and deadpan baritone vocals, Dream Noise adeptly combines the more recent dense, intricate stylings of Interpol and the National with seminal post-punk and shoegaze records. The record is at its strongest in the front half, leading off with a couple standout tracks, "Saint of Nothing" and the urgent "Never Been to Paris." It's here where Capitol really show off their songwriting abilities, and how they meld their influences into familiar-sounding, but still interesting shapes.
As listeners will notice right away, the element of familiarity is a big one, and they walk the line between tributes and outright imitation pretty finely at times, with tracks like "Wish I Was Here" sounding like it was pulled off Trouble Will Find Me and "Blondie" sounding like it was written after a day of listening to nothing but the Smiths. These moments aren't nearly as memorable, and pass by without much impact.
But ultimately it's important to note again the band's style isn't really meant to be groundbreaking. You may have heard other bands perform this way, but that doesn't mean Capitol can't offer up some quality tracks to add to the canon of dreamy, atmospheric rock. (Kingfisher Bluez)