Updated: May 24, 2021
Release Date: April 23, 2021 Genre: Metallic Hardcore, Melodic Hardcore, Mathcore Label: Metal Blade Records / Blacklight Media Records
The Lafayette, Louisiana metallic hardcore quartet Capra have readied their immensely hard-hitting debut album, In Transmission. The band, comprised of vocalist Crow Lotus, guitarist Tyler Harper, bassist Ben Paramore, and drummer Jeremy Randazzo, take you on an unsparing, adventurous ride with their unique blend of the metal, punk, and hardcore genres that moulds their sound together. In Transmission was produced by Jai Benoit, mixed by Taylor Young, and mastered by Brad Boatwright. The album, predominantly recorded in December 2019, except for three tracks, leading the band to finish the recording during the pandemic lockdown.
Capra was formed in 2016 by Harper and Randazzo -the two had previously worked on numerous projects together. Harper, fresh out of a ninety-day stint in rehab, wanted something new to focus his mind on. The duo’s goal with the inception of Capra was to create a band that would be fresh and unique, but the intention to give listeners a nostalgic spin to the sounds of the late 1990s and early 2000s era of hardcore and punk. Since establishing the band in 2016, the band has seen a few line-up changes, barring the addition of Lotus and Paramore, Capra would not be on the path they’re on today.
Capra’s In Transmission begins with an intro piece titled, “[Exordium],” filled with distorted guitar and effects getting you ready for what insanity is about to come on this record. The intro swiftly changes into the chaotic and aggressive first track, “Hollow Doll,” setting the pace for the remaining tracks. Following is the frenzied lead single, “The Locust Preacher.” The song was one of the first songs written by Lotus and tackles her own experiences with sleep paralysis and night terrors.
The lyrics, “Cover the mirrors, I don’t want to see,” details a time when Lotus would cover the mirrors in her bedroom before going to sleep every night in fear that she would see a person or creature in them. Another line in the song, “I can’t keep holding on, but God help me if I try to let it go,” describes her attempts to stay awake all night and the fear she would be in if she would let herself become tired and go to sleep. On the musical side of things, the band’s impressive songwriting, unorthodox time signatures, and use of different genres are on full display, leading the track to take many twists and turns along the way during this extraordinary two-minute and fifty-three-second tune.
The chuggy guitar-riddled number, “Torture Ship,” comes from a dark, personal place. Lotus initially began writing the lyrics to “Torture Ship” in the midst of a mental breakdown. While she was facing which way she should commence the healing process of a personal trauma she endured. In the song, Lotus wanted to express how it felt to accept making the steps to change herself, how excruciating growing pains can become, and detail how growth is one of many significant processes humans can endure -often ending up stronger as a result.
The following track, “Paper Tongues,” continues full throttle, taking the blinders off to shine a look at the tumultuous relationship Lotus had with her mother while growing up -thankfully which they have moved past- but has unfortunately left a perpetual effect. She describes a monster in the song, which is a metaphor for her mother’s temper. On the sludgy and equally thrashy track, “Mutt,” Capra displays an angrier, more aggressive tone unlike the first half of the album, looking to get an important message across. Closing out the band’s whirlwind debut album with a massive bang is the album’s second single, “Samuraiah Carey.” The closing number comes with breakneck speed and untamed aggression that will leave any listener turning their heads looking for even more music from Capra.
Capra is single-handedly redefining hardcore, and it’s demonstrated on In Transmission. While the band identifies as metallic hardcore, the band has created a unique hybrid of elements from hardcore, thrash, punk, and mathcore -that blend themselves into something fresh for the hardcore genre. Beyond the music, the most outstanding traits of In Transmission are found in its relatable and impactful lyrics. Lotus aims to give a voice to the people around this globe who are frequently overlooked. Lotus -both a woman and a child of an immigrant- has been drawn to the idea of sharing and showcasing the stories of people who come from different hardships. These people deserve to be heard rather than silenced.
Capra layout one of these themes with the ninth track, “Red Guillotine.” Lotus tackles the inexcusable tribulations women still have to face in their everyday lives. Lotus speaks profoundly on the constant of being told how to live in a way that pleases other people with no regard for your well-being and how women are reprimanded when something awful occurs to a woman, after ignoring the impulse to preserve their safety. She wants other women to know that she stands with them and that she hears them, and she will do what she can to amplify that voice.
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