The Capes' name made me think of a group of psychedelic fops strutting
around Haight-Ashbury or London's King's Road. But they turn out to be
another engaging UK post-punk pop group in the vein of Franz Ferdinand,
Kaiser Chiefs or Arctic Monkeys (believe at least some of
the hype on the latter, by the way - they're well worth a listen). On
the evidence of this 6-track EP, South London lads the Capes are well
able to stand up in such exalted company.
The band met at Goldsmith's College in London - home to such illustrious
alumni as members of Blur, Pulp and Placebo. Singer
Kris Barratt, dual keyboardist-guitarists Richard Gladman
and Nick Cresswell, bassist Rupert Cresswell and drummer
Rupert Phelps (two Ruperts in one band ? Posh !)soon generated
a buzz in the UK and were picked up by Hard Soul for the listening pleasure
of us Americans.
The first couple of spins of Taste very much recall the aforementioned
new wave of Brit bands, with staccato guitars, cheap keyboards and
XTC-ish vocals - Barratt's voice is very similar to Andy Partridge's
hiccuping performances. Check out "Tightly Wound", which sounds
like a long lost outtake from White Music - not that this is a
bad thing at all .
Repeated listens start to bring out the band's uniqueness, though - they
have a nice nostalgic streak to their music, which goes back past the
first punk era all the way to some of the 70s greats on some songs. For
example, the standout "Chromeless" starts out reminding me of
an Oasis ballad and peaks with an elegaic chorus right out of the
Mott the Hoople songbook. "The Hoxton kids are fighting, they
don't know what it means ...."
Taste is a fine appetizer for the Capes' debut full length album,
Hello, which is also now available Stateside. Anglophiles and fans
of well-crafted, hooky pop songs alike should investigate.
2. Tightly Wound
4. Regional Heats
5. In the Mornnig
6. Galaxie Fraulein
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