The Successful Failures – Captains of Industry, Captains of War (2014)

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Having spent the last decade thrilling audiences with a snappy style citing the triple inspirations of rock, folk and country, the Successful Failures return to the scene with Captains of Industry, Captains of War — their fifth and finest album to date. And that’s truly high praise, given how flawless and exciting the Chesterfield, New Jersey band’s track record is.

Set to be released October 28, 2014, Captains of Industry, Captains of War (FDR Label) finds the Successful Failures staying comfortably within their vision, while in the same space stretching the sonics and inserting even more character and color into their witty and crafty songs.

Properly titled, “Hit the Ground Running” soars with energy to a buzzing beat, amplified by the band’s distinctive imprint of whiplash-inducing breaks, melody-minted punk pop vocals, and crooked and crunchy hooks. Guitars pinballing back and forth between fuzzy distortion and jingly jangly coding clad the foundation, and the drums thump with flavor and fire before the band takes a curious turn and ends the shows to the tune of cocktail lounge piano fills and bluesy riffs.

Sturdy and sure-footed rhythms, complemented by super-sized choruses charge the power popping flourishes of “Ghost Around Here,” where “1954” and “Stagger Lee & Woodrow Wilson” also key in as some of the best of the bunch. Strains of bands such as the Byrds, Big Star, R.E.M., Velvet Crush, and Teenage Fan Club trickle through these songs, and then there’s the wickedly catchy “Milwaukee” that sounds like a cracked but utterly cool combination of the Eagles and the Replacements.

The Successful Failures continue to gorge on country influences by way the crispy-fried “O Carolina,” and the chirpy “Sunny In My Head” favors a sugar-frosted pop approach so infectious it’s promised to be permanently tattooed into your mind. As a matter of fact, all the songs featured on Captains Of Industry, Captains Of War are impossible to forget.

Stashed tight with sharp and stimulating curves and edgy zip and zeal, the album holds steady as an outstanding convergence of classic and contemporary rock. The Successful Failures are one of the greatest bands currently riding the rails, and Captains of Industry, Captains of War deftly defines their love and dedication to the music.


Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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