December 27, 2002

Capitol Years "Jewelry Store"

Hype. It gave many bands the bling-bling in 2002. One or two of those hype-up bands were legitimately good. And boy-howdy, that whole " new rock and roll" thing sure does need to go away, now-like. I don't understand it at all, really. "New Sounds?" What's new about borrowing heavily from Lou Reed, the MC5, and Iggy? They're grandfathers!

I'm not quite sure about Capitol Years' place among all of those bands. Sure, they've been placed upon the "up and coming" bin, but I really don't know how much of that is based simply upon their sound. They've got a quite-apparent influence of the 1970s, for sure. But, see, when they were looking for influence, instead of shelling out the bucks for expensive Iggy and Velvet Underground records, they invested in the cheaper, budget-line Have A Nice Day series, and in the process, picking up inspiration from the era, and not just one band. Thus, they sound inspired by the 1970s, instead of sounding like a direct rip-off.

Apparently, Jewelry Store was recorded as close to live as possible, to get that feeling of liveness, which seems to be where their power is to be found. I like this approach, really, because it makes for some rather crunchy songs. Makes me want to play me some air drums. (Seeing as I'm from/in East Texas, I play some mean air-drums, slappy.) I'm particularly keen on the title track, which is a fast little rocker; "Japanese Store," also a fast little rocker, and the jammed-out closer, "Train Race."

Hype or no, Capitol Years are a fun rock band who probably rock it live. In fact, you can hear that in Jewelry Store. Of course, who knows where the hype machine will take us this year, and here's to Capitol Years existing and making music and growing popular in spite of it, not because of it. After all, whatever happened to our rock 'n' roll? I don't know, but I think Capitol Years have found it. Jewelry Store is a nice little snack before their next album.

--Joseph Kyle

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