Select Captain

Pure Neon EP

Written by: PP on 17/10/2015 15:44:08

For those following the Danish rock scene closely, Gonzo Morales (now defunct) should be one of the newcomer bands you're familiar with from last year. Their vocalist Kristian Gaarskjær is also active with his solo moniker Select Captain, under which he released a debut album called "The Fear And The Lights" last year. With Select Captain, he explores a radically different soundscape than with his main band, focusing on indie-flavored singer-songwriter material instead. "Pure Neon" EP is the next release from him, which does little to improve the problems that were laid bare on the debut album.

Although Gaarskjær owns a warm baritone voice, it alone isn't interesting enough to lift the release from mediocrity. He has a full band backing him with instruments ranging from acoustic and electric guitar to banjo, percussion and much else to build a specific type of an ambiance, which positions his music somewhere between raw pop music and more nuanced singer-songwriter material. Take the closing track "Slow", for instance, which sounds like a banjo-fueled version of something that Keane or Lifehouse could have written. Opener "Adamantine" is a more folksy affair that looks back at Johnny Cash and other legends of his era with playful banjo melody giving the song additional spice. "Here We Stand (and nothing ever changes)" is a slower ballad that in the end feels rather anonymous and forgettable. "Morning" is my favorite on the record, mostly because it channels Frank Turner's more upbeat modern day troubadour type of a singer-songwriter style. Here, the chorus melody is better than others on the record, and the remainder of the instrumentation also plays well together in a memorable manner.

Overall, however, "Pure Neon" EP does little to stay in the memory of its listener. Much like the debut album, it consists primarily of generic singer-songwriter material that we've heard a thousand times before by so many others before Select Captain. With a lack of lasting value and intriguing songs, it's difficult to award "Pure Neon" a higher than a dead on average grade.


Download: Morning, Slow
For the fans of: Neil Young, George Ezra, Ryan Adams, Keane, Lifehouse
Listen: Facebook

Release date 30.04.2015
Mini Me Records

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