Album review by: Musicreview.co.za
You gotta give credit to bands who release their music for free â€“ especially, independent artists. They slave away in rehearsals, cough up a fortune to use a studio, and pay more than enough to put a producerâ€™s children through school, all so that you can have some music to rip to your external hard drive and then shift along to your friends. For that, I tip my imaginary hat to Captain Stu for taking on this rewardless project.
Nonetheless, thatâ€™s where my plaudits end, because I have a sneaky suspicion that all the line-up changes are finally getting to the bandâ€™s sound â€“particularly, in the vocal department. Itâ€™s dreadfully obvious on Free Music that vocalist/guitarist James Klopper is struggling to fill former singer Nick Keyâ€™s shoes. Compare an older track like â€˜Message of Loveâ€™ to â€˜Han Soloâ€™ off this EP, and it becomes crystal-clear who has the better pipes.
The press release says that the album â€œmanages to still keep the signature fun, bouncy, energetic Captain Stu vibeâ€ â€“ sorry, I disagree, Free Music feels lethargic and lacking in imagination. If you weigh up this release to anything from Hog Hoggidy Hog or even Fuzigishâ€™s ska work, itâ€™s poor in comparison. The band prides itself on its zaniness and outlandish personalities, but it now needs to extend this appeal back into their lacklustre music. Ultimately, Free Music is a letdown.