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Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.5
Creativity 9.5
Lasting Value 9.5
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 95%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.33
Musicianship 9.42
Lyrics 9.42
Production 9.25
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 8.92
Reviewer Tilt 9.33
Average: 93%

Captain, We're Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled

Reviewed by: Zac Djamoos (11/06/13)
Captain, We’re Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled
Record Label: Run For Cover
Release Date: May 14, 2013


Yes, I know this review is many, many months late. But that means I’ve had enough time to say this truthfully, and not just as a spur of the moment thing: The Future Is Cancelled is my favorite album of the year.

It makes sense to start with the best aspect of the record: the lyrics. They’re exceptionally dark, especially for a punk record like this. References to alcoholism, loss of faith, and broken families adorn the record at every turn. In particular, “Annina, We Will Miss You” features devastating lyrics, describing a loved one’s last days in the hospital. Closer “Shoddy Workmanship” depicts an alcoholic’s nightly routine: “Sunday, I know you’re sleeping/ I know I said I wouldn’t drink/ but someone mentioned that an ounce of wine/ would atone me of all my sins/ so I took a shot for Mary/ and I took two for your son/ I had a few for my own self-pity/ and I felt innocent again.” The whole record isn’t this bleak though, thankfully. If AIM were still relevant now, surely a few one-liners from this album would make it to your away message: “Even though my heart is made of glass and it’s already been smashed/ I’d give all of the pieces to you,” or “You’re something that I wanted/ and thought that I needed/ but now you’re just an inconvenience”, “If an apple got you kicked out of the garden/ do you wanna hear the trouble I’m in?” or the hardest-hitting of all “I made a list of everything that I despise/ and I wrote your name down several times.”

That last excerpt comes from penultimate “A Bitter Divorce,” one of the most poignant tracks on the album. The song’s gorgeous female harmonies only work to enhance vocalist Bob Barnett’s youthful but commanding vocals. It’s one of the slowest on the album, burning quietly on for about two minutes before the song’s (and album’s, really) emotional climax. The heartbreaking lyrics seem even more real when set against the fuzzy background. “You Have Flaws” is on the opposite end of the spectrum, being one of the faster-paced and loudest tracks, yet still conveying the sense of desperation and hopelessness shown in “Divorce.” It gives both Barnett and co-lead vocalist Leo Vergnetti moments to shine, and stands out on the album for its lack of real structure – yet it sounds as cohesive as anything else on the album. “Montreal” is a pop-punk jam through and through, and a splendid one at that. It’s got an infectious hook that’ll stuck in many listeners’ heads, the clear-cut choice for a lead single. And if you doubt how technical they guys can get, the two time changes in “Here’s to Forever” will probably take you by surprise. But all these songs pale in comparison to the album’s aforementioned closing duo.

The Future Is Cancelled ends in such a way that the listener can’t help but want to start it over. Each song seems to be just slightly better than the previous, and then come “A Bitter Divorce” and “Shoddy Workmanship.” The former is, of course, a heart-wrenching ballad that presents Barnett at his most vulnerable, while the latter is arguably the best song this band has ever recorded. Bill Orender’s drums sound massive, building epically (if I’m using that word it must be justified) into an anthemic chorus. The song’s bridge is the highest point of a song that’s the high point of the album. The band decrescendos suddenly to let Vergnetti open himself up before the reprise the refrain of “Brother,” giving the album the feeling of coming full circle.

No other album all year has had the same effect on me as this one. Setting aside my fanboyish love, The Future Is Cancelled is still nothing short of wonderful. No two songs sound the same here, a rare feat for a band of this ilk. That’s discounting the moving lyrics, stirring vocals, and adept musicality. This is an uncommon kind of record, one you can play endless and not tire of. I hope the future isn’t cancelled, because I can’t wait to see how Captain, We’re Sinking follows this up.

9.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 41
09:20 PM on 11/06/13
#2
Zac Djamoos
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So basically I wrote this because 1) I was bored and 2) I cannot praise this album enough.
09:34 PM on 11/06/13
#3
phaynes1
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Man...this is...just not a good review. At all. Yikes.
06:02 AM on 11/07/13
#4
xapplexpiex
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Yeah this album rules.
06:28 AM on 11/07/13
#5
Zac Djamoos
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Man...this is...just not a good review. At all. Yikes.

Alright, thanks for your input. What's your advice to be a better reviewer in the future?
09:33 AM on 11/07/13
#6
phaynes1
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Alright, thanks for your input. What's your advice to be a better reviewer in the future?
It's just....incredibly plain. You don't really say much of anything at all about the music. It's a lot of "I like this song!" "I also like this one!!"
09:54 AM on 11/07/13
#7
Zac Djamoos
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It's just....incredibly plain. You don't really say much of anything at all about the music. It's a lot of "I like this song!" "I also like this one!!"
Well alright then. Thanks for not being a douche about it. I'll try to get more in depth next time.
09:55 AM on 11/09/13
#8
swimmer9800
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What surprised me the most is that this album didn't receive much attention at all.
10:26 AM on 11/09/13
#9
Apathium
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I digged the review, with a rating as high as 9.5 and listing it as your AOTY, it is bound to stir some conflict. Great job though.
11:50 AM on 11/09/13
Zac Djamoos
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I digged the review, with a rating as high as 9.5 and listing it as your AOTY, it is bound to stir some conflict. Great job though.
Well thanks!
06:01 PM on 11/09/13
Steve P.
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Great review. This is a phenomenal album, definitely in my top 3 releases of the year. I dug it right away, but it was still a grower for me. Took me a few months to really appreciate how fantastic it really is. The title track and A Bitter Divorce still give me chills.
07:02 PM on 11/09/13
Zac Djamoos
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Great review. This is a phenomenal album, definitely in my top 3 releases of the year. I dug it right away, but it was still a grower for me. Took me a few months to really appreciate how fantastic it really is. The title track and A Bitter Divorce still give me chills.
thanks man. i agree that, while it's immediate, it takes a while to fully comprehend how great it is. goddamn, a bitter divorce, that song.
11:57 PM on 11/09/13
Vance Mook
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Interesting read, especially for a record I've been meaning to check out ever since I heard a song on the Run For Cover sampler.
09:51 AM on 11/10/13
Zac Djamoos
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Interesting read, especially for a record I've been meaning to check out ever since I heard a song on the Run For Cover sampler.

Thats what got me to listen to it.
06:28 PM on 11/10/13
Archael
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Definitely one of the better albums of this year. Solid 6/10 or so.
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