CAPUCHIN PUNKS - Metal Dalla Cripta Dei Monaci

Capuchin Punks - Metal Dalla Cripta Dei Monaci

9 songs
31:52 minutes
***** **


Nowadays it is much easier to record a professionally sounding record than twenty or thirty years ago. Recording technology has become more affordable, the digital revolution made a good sound easier to get. And yet there are still bands like Capuchin Punks from Saint Louis in Missouri that still sound as if their entire album had been recorded on a dusty four-track tape recorder.

Originally released in 2014, the quintetís debut longplayer came two years after their demo. The four songs from the demo have probably been re-recorded for the album, but show clearly that the band has evolved since then. And still they keep their ultra-lo-fi sound which I have to admit shocked me at first. A creepy Gregorian monk chant starts the album with a thirty second intro before the band continues with Jet Black Chevette, probably the hit song from their demo. If the cover artwork and the intro would have you expect a doom metal band, you will be mistaken, at least at first. This is pure retro punk rock ŗ la Joan Jett, courtesy also of the vocals by Donna Katherine, who may not be the most skilled singer, but one canít say that she lacks confidence. The guitarists donít always seem quite certain what the other one is doing, while the bass guitar is bumbling helplessly along, and the drums could have procured a somewhat faster pace to give the song more drive. Sounds horrible, possibly really is, but also comes with a certain charm that only amateur bands can allow themselves to have.

The following Martigney Creek is a slower track and digs into blues based heavy rock that shows that Capuchin Punks are more at ease at an even slower pace. The song could have used some more variety at its four and a half minutes, but their self-styled Black Sabbath meets Joan Jett brand makes already more sense. As a matter of fact, the albumís middle part is really not that bad at all. The War is another remainder from their demo, and starts quite awkwardly but soon finds its pace, and the doubly recorded vocals give her performance more depth. There is always a certain swampiness to their music which gives you the impression that these are some sweaty kids in a stuffy rehearsal room. They even look the part, a bit like Daniel Johnstonís backing band from the early Nineties in West Virginia. Like the strange kids that didnít do sport or literature and preferred to hang out in the basement playing garage rockíníroll. Dust And Ash is the albumís magnum opus at slightly over six minutes, with a regular Black Sabbath intro before switching to rather fast paced heavy metal with a really catchy chorus. This is the band at their best. One Of Them is another freaky doom infused heavy rock song that works also rather well. My Addiction, another old track, is a short and weird mid-tempo rocker, before the equally short Former Crowns shows us the band from their most dynamic and aggressive side. The concluding Better Not Ask is once again a track from the demo, and at that really not as good as the new material.

At times I feel inclined to describe Capuchin Punks as outside artists, as defined in Irwin Chusidís Songs In The Key Of Z. These guys tread the thin line between talentless crap and extraordinary art. They donít seem to care for a professional sound, probably are more intent on having a good time. And somehow these is very tangible. In its naivety, Metal Dalla Cripta Dei Monaci is a rather unique experience. A skilled producer and a bigger budget might have turned this album into a better sounding but possibly far less entertaining album. If Capuchin Punks continue to improve on their songwriting, as they did between the demo and the album, they might really surprise us with their next release.

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