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EP Review: This Place Matters by The Capital

The Capital release their new EP This Place Matters on 23rd June via badHORROR Recordings. Rewind to 2012 and you would find a third of the members of The Capital playing with the Preston based melodic punk outfit Failsafe. One of the top live acts of their day, Failsafe had a committed legion of fans, built up around successive tours sharing stages with the heavyweights of the alternative scene. A Day To Remember, Anti-Flag, The Bouncing Souls, Cute Is What We Aim For and even Paramore were touring partners and as such the band drew crowds and praise from diverse corners of the industry for their eclectic mix of punk rock, hardcore and melodious rock displayed on their successful early albums, What We Are Today and The Truth Is….

Returning to the studio once more, the band recorded a collection of songs titled ‘Routines’ which would be released through the american label, Cardboard Empire and followed up with tour dates alongside Hawthorne Heights and Forever Came Calling. However, not long after it’s release, their time as Failsafe would be brought to a sudden and heartbreaking end. On New Years Day, 2015 the band would wake to the devastating news that their guitarist and dearest friend, Matthew Cogley, had suddenly passed away.

“It’s out of respect and love for Matt that we’re carrying on playing music, because that’s what brought us together in the first place. We’re never going to move on, but we can move forward and always keep him with us.” explained guitarist Andy Sprake at the time.

Bringing things to the present day, This Place Matters was recorded at the prestigious Middle Farm Studios with internationally renowned producer Peter Miles (Frank Turner, We Are The Ocean, The Skints) over just three short days, the band took a stripped back approach to the recording, passing up “studio trickery” in favour of using vintage gear and truly embracing any slight imperfections to give the tracks more of a live feel.

Commenting on their time in the studio, drummer, Rob Catlow said: “We worked with Pete on the first 2 Failsafe albums – ‘What We Are Today’ (2005) and ‘The Truth Is’ (2008). We’ve had a solid friendship with him for well over 10 years now and with that comes a lot of trust. He has a gorgeous studio, and we knew he could get the best work from us. We love working with him, and we’ll hopefully work with him again in the near future.”

What should you expect from the EP? Imagine the melodic and accessible punk rock of Hot Water Music and The Flatliners mixed with a more mainstream overtone and you’d be on the money. As such it’s a decent, if somewhat unadventurous, roaring 5 tracks.

Opener ‘The Trouble’ and ‘Rise Above It All’ are the highlights and showcase there’s some tantalising punk energy and fervour at the heart of The Capital. Title track ‘This Place Matters’ is a decent track that wavers a little too close to pop rock territory at times. ‘Harbour in a Storm’ is pretty forgettable while ‘Only Human’ plays the part of stadium rock with aplomb.

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