Captain Bringdown and the Buzz Killers – Feel Good Tunes (CD)

The opening of “Feel Good Tunes” really confuses listeners into first thinking that the band is harder than the rest of the fare would indicate, and then immediately inculcates them into a set of truly “Feel Good Tunes”, beginning with “Psshhh…Like I’m Handcuffed”. The “pick it up” that was heard much much too often back in the late nineties is used to some minor success on this track; the band’s desire to move through a number of different time signatures and overall sounds really makes listeners latch on, even at this early juncture.

Hints of Fixed Idea, Sublime, and even Sum 41 all make their appearance on this EP, which is coupled with a distinctive set of vocals. The band’s second attempt on this disc, “Blistered Up” has the same quality of another great current ska band, Kevin Goes 2 College, and even incorporates something in terms of flow that finds itself much closer to rap than it could ever be reggae or ska. This experimentation is the key component in distinguishing the cream from the crap; bands like Operation Ivy experimented, while The Forces of Evil were set on their ways and failed miserably. “For The Kids” is perhaps the shining example of nigh-perfection on this disc; starting out eerily similar vocally to Tim Armstrong, the track really starts to have its own sound with a liberal application of punk music. Couple this sound with a chorus that I defy any listener to remove from their head without the aid of a drill, and one has what has to be one of the best ska tracks of the year.

“P.T.S.D.” shows CBatBK’s harder side, although what exactly has influenced them (Thought Riot?) is elusive. Of particular note during the track is a guitar riff that so closely mimics a human voice that even the most grizzled listeners will not be able to discern until half-way through. The band’s “traditional” song seems a little out of place during this disc; “Done Gone” is much more influenced by the 2nd wave of ska, and while it is done with the same TLC that marks all of the disc, the laid-back feel really seems stark against the hard-nosed, pedal to the ground sound of the rest of the EP. The aforementioned Sum 41 had their “half hour of power”, I would contend that Captain Bringdown and the Buzz Killers does in less than twenty minutes what Sum 41 did in thirty.

Top Track: Stand True

Rating: 7.6/10

Captain Bringdown and the Buzz Killers – Feel Good Tunes / 2005 Hairball8 / / / Reviewed 29 June 2005

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