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'When the Dust Just Won't Settle'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '1st May 2020'

Our Rating:
It's tough for Independent bands at the best of times but now, with gigs being postponed indefinitely, a vital source of income is lost. Bandcamp's move to waive their fees offers some modest help but fundraising of this kind has its limits.

If Captain Wilberforce were only in it for the money, they'd have called it a day after one, maybe two, releases but here we are at album number five with no apparent lessening in their enthusiasm to make music. They are not motivated by fashion, cash rewards or dreams of stardom but are driven by a desire for expression and connection.

As ever, the Leeds-based band's power pop places a strong emphasis on melody and harmonies even when the stories they tell are not always happy ones. In I'm The Fool Si Bristoll sings "nothing easy ever lasts" while in The Last Dance is Over there is a recognition that good things rarely endure and that "the world weighs hard on our shoulders".

Even when the sentiments are more bitter, notably in Green Unpleasant Land, the venom is never conveyed through raging vocals or screaming guitars. This is both a strength and a weakness - consistent tunefulness is reassuring but this also entails glossing over bad vibrations.

Musically, therefore, there's not much to distinguish between the romanticism of The View from an English Breakfast, in which a chance encounter leads to a long-lasting relationship and When It Rains, a sunny song about a break-up and bad weather.

Of course, the capacity to remain upbeat even when things are going awry is one of the reasons why Captain Wilberforce keep going. The band proudly declare that this album contains "12 of the best songs we've ever recorded" and it would be churlish of me to disagree.

Captain Wiberforce's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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CAPTAIN WILBERFORCE - When the Dust Just Won't Settle