The sound comparisons are undeniable when it comes to talking about The Capitalist Kids and their affinity for 1980s-era Lookout Records pop-punk. But the Austin, TX band does have a key difference to be noted. For every saccharine love song, there is a counterpunch of social commentary—not mixed within that same sappy song, but in one of the follow-ups. For every “Closer to You” and “I Gotta Hold on To You,” there is also an “On-Purpose Racist” or “Infinite Wealth on a Finite Planet,” which is played in the same pogo-happy two-minute format.
The band is crisp, clean, and peppy to boot. The 14 songs here all run in a similar format and they hover at that two minute mark or shorter. It’s a well-tried formula and, frankly, it’s been so firmly cemented over the years that it’s always surprising to hear a new band do it enough to stand out. That’s where Capitalist Kids lie. It honors the greats, pulls their influence, and openly acknowledges this without sounding like a clone. Within those melodies and verse-chorus-verses, there is enough of unique voice and driving force to make the band stand on their own, not in the shadows of the greats but simply another being on the March of Progress.
The songs can get repetitive and the chorus tends to match the song title, but keeping the songs quick ’n’ short overrides that fault for the most part, filling in the gaps with clever turns of phrase and bridges that keep the energy coming without too much spinning of the wheels on the same beat. Occasionally it falters in finding a hook, as in the first 45 seconds of the 1:14 “On-Purpose Racist,” but those moments are outliers and not the norm.
On At a Loss The Capitalist Kids continue where their predecessors left off, with 14 quick, fast, poppy songs in 28 minutes exploring love, politics, and the economy all in sing-along form.
Even with a name like Capitalist Kids, the Austin band has always been more about love songs in the vein of Mr. T Experience and Lookout Records before hitting the political sauce. ...
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