Album Review: Boss Crowley throws back half a century on “Capitaland”

With their latest release, Capitaland, Albany’s Boss Crowley has released a short collection of tunes that blend the simplicity of sounds from the 1960’s with the freneticism of those that came out of the mid-1970’s punk scene.

A throbbing bass and drum pattern begins the record in “Hi Lo Desert.” As the song progresses, the tempo slightly increases. There’s a very enjoyable retro-feel to this track; its straightforwardness makes it easy to digest and move along with. Overall, the song is very reminiscent of something akin to Norman Greenbaum.

There are a lot of moving instrumental parts in “Peacetime Boogie,” track two. In some places, the track is extremely busy. While it is cool in terms of harmonizing and complementing parts, for some that listen, it may get tiring on the ears as they process and hear all the pieces that are relentlessly going on. That being said, the drums hold the groove down in a nice way throughout.

Much less frenetic than the previous tune, “Life’s a Big Turbine” is interestingly performed. Between oscillating back-and-forth from straight rhythms, to those of a more swinging nature, it keeps the listener on guard for what may happen as the song progresses. Sounding like a combination of classic 60’s bands with reggae, and indie aspects, this song is one of the more interesting of the bunch.

For the closer, “Smile For Me,” we hear a tune that mixes the simplicity and sardonic flavor of some of the punk sounds of the mid-70’s. As with the other tracks, there’s a lot of sonic information going on. With the repetitive nature of the lyrics, listeners will find themselves being able to sing along fairly quickly.

Though there are several fun moments that take place throughout the record – sometimes to an infectious level – overall, the performances could stand to be tightened up a bit. At certain points, the freneticism present adds a good flavor to the song, while other times it tends to be a bit distracting. Nevertheless, it is hard to deny just how fun the band is, and that cannot be overstated. Check the record out for yourself here.

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