March 17, 2005

Test Spin- Capitol Years

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The Capitol Years’ newest album, Let them Drink, features Shai Halperan presenting us with 12 pretty good songs. This is indie rock, yet it’s not pretentious. The Capitol Years are content in sticking completely to what’s worked over the past few decades; not a song goes by that wasn’t influenced either by Guided by Voices, the Beatles or the Strokes. The album thus has a cohesion that can become grating as the songs progress. Nevertheless, a few moments are distinct and help make up for the slight monotony of the whole. “Solid Gold,” with its sing-a-long chorus taken directly from the Mamas and the Papas’ “Dedicated to the One I Love,” is an exciting and triumphant moment in garage rock revival. The understated title track hints at the profound, even if it does sound like a Yoshimi throwaway. There is no doubting Halperan’s songwriting talents, but with a little more pretension and a little less reliance on his idols, the Capitol Years could create an album better than just pretty good.

Archived article by Jared Wolfe
Sun Staff Writer