Kapsize is one of those bands that just hits you. They have a ton of great songs. The sound of their music and the effort to deliver some good lyrics, not to mention their ability to rock the house is simply awesome. I’m always on the prowl for new crossover rock-reggae, most of which is coming from SoCal these days. Bands like Rebelution and Tribal Seeds have been in my playlist for a few years now, so imagine my surprise when I recently stumbled upon Austin, Texas band, Kapsize. Their new 11-track album, “Rationalize” is unrelenting with its unwillingness to get out of your head once you listen to it.
The songs are infectiously catchy, but not really in an irritating pop song kind of way. You will find yourself constantly singing these bouncy, energetic songs, but will not wish them out of your head, because they’re so uplifting. Those that you cannot sing-along to, because of their energetic punk-rock crunch, like “Porn Queen”, “Lockdown”, “O.C.D – Bags”, “Hour of the Wolf” and “Barge It” – you will listen to in amazement of the gut-splitting guitar riffs and constant tempo changes.
The undeniable talent of Kapsize is never doubted due to the dexterity of styles and modes they all use. The guitar solos – which abound – are excellently played, and the rhythms are bright and clear. The bass and drumming are intricate and provide a solid foundation, an expectation of reggae music. Of the sing and/or nod-along stuff, my choice picks are “Break It Off”, “Light Speed”, “Chubby” and “D.M.M.B”. The melodies, instrumentals, and lyrics for the songs on this album are so flawlessly dispatched that the listener finds himself coming back to listen for more.
Kapsize can do it all. They can groove, scale it back and let the melody work, they can charge straight ahead guns blazing, and above all they can seamlessly switch from one feel to another. These guys clearly love what they’re doing and pour everything they’ve got into it. The level of musicianship is very high – Aaron Rovenger is a killer guitar player, Michael Collins is a spirited bassist, and Zachary Schuler proves himself to be a most reliable timekeeper on the drums. Virtually everybody I played this album to loved it – ranging from other ska fans to punk kids, reggae heads and alternative rock aficionados.
The energy and enthusiasm of this Kapsize is absolutely contagious and I highly recommend “Rationalize” to anyone who is ready to experience a great sound and attitude – particularly those who do not generally subscribe to this crossover genre. The combination of catchy melodies, infectious beats and blistering guitar solos is what will make this album so appealing to just about anybody who appreciates guitar-based music.