Fueled by booze, weed, heartbreak, and a surprising affinity for melody hidden inside of noise, local punk-rock band Captain Blackout fit right in with Charleston’s tight-knit punk scene. On their self-titled debut, a six-song sampler recorded at the Collective Recording Company, they pour their passions and frustrations into the tracks, hiccups and all.
A two-guitar five-piece with Chandler Roy as the stand-alone lead singer, Captain Blackout came together as a who’s who from a small pile of other bands, including Best of All Breathing, the 33’s, Hybrid Mutants, Hot Charlie, Chaos in Gotham, When All is Lost, and Plastic. Some of the blind rage of vintage hardcore is at the heart of their fastest stuff. The four-chord opening track “This is the Life” — featuring a rumbling drum intro from Jason Fuller — and the speedy, shouty “JPOP” are stand-outs.
Most of the songs here balance Roy’s raw emotion on the mic with a self-deprecating wit, a bit of sarcasm in the lyrics, and a melodic sensibility resembling some of the West Coast punk bands of the early ’80s — think the Descendents and Bad Religion more than Black Flag and the Germs. Roy almost croons on the lone acoustic guitar anthem of the album, “Love is a Bar Fight,” but he sounds too genuinely hurt and defeated to come off as slick, even with the falsetto.
Captain Blackout’s debut is a little rough and raw, but it fits their edgy hardcore-meets-power-pop style.