Caffeine / Capdown / Weeble
October 12 1999
Nottingham Old Angel
Weeble are young. And they've got an amplifier encased in an orange fluffy casing sort of thing. The vocalist climbs everywhere, gibson slung low. They saw A last week and came back with a song. T'other guitarist riffs away. The bassist just stands there. They're young, punky upstarts with a bit of the old garage like rock'n'roll thing going on to my mind - one song reminded me of Rocket From The Crypts one song. Just at the moment, they're not all that interesting. As they finish what turns out to be their last song, the music fades back in "is that us finished then?" asks the singer. You didn't need to ask. Unceremonious ending.
Capdown are young as well. But they're easily the best band here tonight. Although as they rightly point out, no one appears to be moving really. Maybe it's too much to ask. I mean there's people here on a Tuesday night for a gig, so I suppose you have to take these things in small steps. Capdown play a punky ska ridden hardcore, which is pretty vibrant and nothing like as macho as much of what currently hides under the title of hardcore. Time For Change is one of the standout tracks, and although you think "god, not that ska thing again", they augment it by the vocalist also playing a mean saxophone. It makes it feel a little more "real.". "Anyone own up to being a punk here" asks the singer. A guy in front with a white t-shirt and rebelliously short hair spiked a bit, you know the way, puts up his finger. "This is a punk one". And what do you know, the punks head bobs away more. Wonder if there's any relationship here. Band says this song is for the whatevers. And the whatevers faithfully follow along. New track whose name I've now forgotten, a play on the word evolution though, has the most metal chord progression and sound. And our punk friend bobs his head to that. Shit, there went that theory. Trust me, it worked better last night when the Newky brown was also lending a helping hand in it. Anyway, Capdown end and the gig should've done as well.
You see, I don't like to be nasty to bands. I mean, at the end of the day, they're doing what I can't - making and playing music. So what right do I have? But, well I've seen Caffeine 3 times now, and they have no redeeming feature whatsoever! Sorry, but for m, that's a true factual statement. Though our punk friend is lapping it up. They're about as punk as my pubes. The songs are boring. They want to be every American "punk" band denting the charts at the moment, and miss the mark so badly it's sad. They do the fast thing, the ska thing. It's all there. Ingrediants. But somewhere in the baking things went wrong. And instead of being a light and fluffy filling, it's leaden and shite. The singer, like every other time I've seen him, is topless. Ok, it's warm in here, but temperature appears to have no relation to things for him. The "highlight" of the set is the Dead Or Alive cover. Which they play every night. They must be bored sick of it, cos after 3 goes, I am. Why does every band of this ilk seemingly have to do it. A bloody cover. A fun cover. A "we're wacky funny people really" cover. It's bollocks. See, this is an example of a manufactured "punk" band in the UK if ever I've saw it. Capdown shat all over them. They're more an example of a "real" punk band. And of course that real versus manufactured argument is a load of shite anyway. But it's true here. Caffeine are going nowhere fast. Through their label and managment they've had the backing to do numerous tours and support the Offspring. They've had the press that Capdown haven't. Everything to try and push them in people's faces. And they're still doing fuck all in terms of gaining a following. Towards the end of the set, some bloke associated with the band is wandering through the crowd, waving CDs at people trying to entice them to buy a copy. Now how sad is that? And how much of a reflection is it, of the worthless nature of Caffeine at the moment? He did try to get me to buy a copy a few times after the gig. I offered him the chance to give me a copy to review for the zine. He still wanted me to buy it. Sorry, I've seen them live. If you want me to review it, you'll have to give me the CD, cos on the basis of what I've seen, I ain't buying it. Sorry, like I said, I don't mean to be nasty, but Caffeine are shite.
No Wings Fins or Fuselage
Cracking name eh? Yeah. Anyway, first heard of this lot either at the start of the year or last year. But didnít find the CD. Then I spotted this new one in Selectadisc for only 7 or 8 quid, so the purchase was made. And opening it up, it looks like the man behind Inhaler is also responsible for this. But thereís a huge difference musically.
It's kind of lo-fi ish sort of thing, but that doesn't mean it's twee. Opening track Electris has some fairly meaty guitars knocking out a nice bouncy riff. But they're not afraid to throw in the more gentle spartan thing as well. Dynamics maybe? And it's catchy, with a nice little sort of almost anti-guitar solo in there as well. There's even one that if it was a bit more fuzzed up could be a, shh, stoner style riff.
The emphasis is on trying to craft songs. The third song is a more sombre affair. At the moment I kind of think say Billy Mahonie sort of thing but with vocals. Just that song. And yeah, I'm probably way off. Don't get on about it. Probably someone with more knowledge than I have would be able to throw out all the credible names of who it actually sounds like, but it's not like much that I personally have listened to in the past. But I like it. It's all a little bit understated, and closing my eyes, I'd imagine that live they'd not exactly be falling over themselves in an effort to make direct contact with the audience. Hypergiant has a nice swirly sort of guitar effect on there. There's hints of Nirvana in here, just the general style rather than anything obvious.
27 Days lifts the pace again, all buzzed out guitars and distorted vocals before everything drops out of the song. All in all, a fine release. Different to what I've normally listened to, making it hard to give a reasonable description or review. Saucer Music II has some nice effects and riffs going on in there. Recommended if you tend towards the more alternative side of things. "I took the right course, I joined the airforce, I waved goodbye, took to the sky" scream the strained vocals on one of the standout tracks, Thomas Mantells Story Part I. Some of the them are perhaps a bit short, finishing when you think they should just really be getting started or reaching a climax. Famous Last Words (Thomas Mantells Story Part II) is the gently, twangy sort of song. I should give all this up, I just can't describe music.
Available from Seriously Groovy Music.