Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Album Review: Chasing Fireflies by O Captain! My Captain!


O Captain! My Captain! are an acoustic punk band from Germany. Late last year (I'm very behind) they released a new album named Chasing Fireflies on Fond Of Life Records.


The first song on Chasing Fireflies is named Forever Wasted. It's a slow and soft song that serves as an introduction to the album. The track slowly builds towards a fantastic and moving chorus of "We Are The Reckless, Singing Our Blues, Running Up Our Black Flags On Your Rules, We Are The Wasted, We Are The Youth, Running Up Our Black Flags On Your Rules." The track actually finishes with a nice bit of piano that leads us into the second song - The Wolves Inside Of Me. The opening of the track really focuses on the vocals with the music feeling quite stripped back. I really enjoy the inclusion of brass on the track, adding a nice extra layer. The whole song is packed with lyrics that are screaming out to have huge gang vocals which sadly never come. I can imagine The Wolves Inside Of Me being a huge sing-along live though. A harmonica is thrown into the mix during the third track Small Town Heart. This track feels more like a full band effort than the opening two songs on Chasing Fireflies with plenty of gang vocals and harmonies. I loved the final section of the song when the tempo is raised and the melody flows into a punchy style. Up next is a song named All My Friends Are Vampires. It's another softer song about friendship, namely making sure that you make the most of the time together because it won't last forever. The songs tempo picks up towards the end with some more excellent harmonies to close the song. Prince With A Thousand Enemies wastes no time in getting started. There is much more emotion coming from the vocals on this track which I'm a fan of. The extra emotion gives the track a lot more urgency. I also like the return of the brass to the song.

Carrie Pt. 1 is a fantastic piece of acoustic pop music. As I listen to the album I wonder why o Captain! My Captain! are known in the world of mainstream music. This is completely accessible music which should appeal to a wide range of musical tastes. Carrie Pt. 1 is an excellent example of that thought process, the song is well written with plenty of hooks and a nice chorus. Carrie Pt. 2 is a far more simplistic track but still just as enjoyable. It's only just over a minute long but packs a wonderful punch. It's a big sing-along with only about three lines used throughout the track with lots of brilliant repetitiveness that will really get a crowd involved. Too Much Poetry pulls you in immediately with the vocals taking the lead with the melody being accompanied with the acoustic guitar. Once you're sucked in the song doesn't let you get away with again the inclusion of some brass and some nicely placed "whoa-ohs." The song has a massive ending with the repeating of the lines " We Have Too Much Poetry In Or Hearts So We Write Poetry On Our Arms." The penultimate song on Chasing Fireflies is named Here Comes The Morning Light. When the vocals kick in for some reason I was reminded of Millencolin front man Nikola Sarcevic. A solely acoustic track it feels perfectly placed, calming things down before one final party at the end of the album. The song tasked with finished the album off with a bang is Neighborhood. The duelling guitars at start the track show another aspect of O Captain! My Captain!'s ability. The chorus is again fantastically huge and will have your attention from the first listen. The shouts of "Fuck You Neighborhood" will have everyone in a crowd singing along.

Chasing Fireflies is a super album of acoustic pop punk. O Captain! My Captain! came a bit of nowhere for me and I'm baffled why they aren't a massive act.

Stream and download Chasing Fireflies here: https://fondoflife.bandcamp.com/album/chasing-fireflies

Like O Captain! My Captain here: https://www.facebook.com/OCaptainMyCaptain.Music/