Capitán - Compulsión

Compulsión, Capitán
Discoteca Océano, Spain
Rating: 69
by Glòria Guirao Soro

Recorded more than a year ago and already presented live, Compulsión (Discoteca Océano, 2013) finally got a release. Capitán had kept it almost as a relic, since only two of its songs had been included in a 2012 compilation by Discos Walden, La Fonoteca, and Maravillosos Ruidos, which also featured tracks from Barcelona bands Viva Ben-Hur, Arponera, and Villarroel. It’s not until now that we have been able to listen to the complete oeuvre of the band led by Cacho Salvador, who is also Extraperlo’s bassist.

Capitán is a three-member band from Barcelona, formed by Cacho himself with musicians Adrián de Alfonso (Don The Tiger, Bèstia Ferida, Veracruz) and Pau Riutort (Beach Beach, Extraperlo). Quite a supergroup, we could say. Compulsión is a dark, enveloping, and depressing album. It is about anxiety and pressure, about feeling lost and lonely. With simple and repetitive rhythmical progressions and atmospheric sound effects, the deep voice dives into gloomy waves of melody. It is related to Spanish New Wave, especially to bands such as Golpes Bajos, but it is also clearly influenced by the music of Bauhaus, Joy Division, Nick Cave—I think of “Do You Love Me?”, for example—a more opaque version of Echo and the Bunnymen, or even Interpol, although this last comparison may irk some.

The idea of a concept album sounds to me a bit too pretentious, but it is true that there is a common mood to all the lyrics and a defining sound of the whole. This homogeneity has to do with some improvisation and with de Aflonso's noisy touch that spills over from his project Don The Tiger. On the contrary, side projects of the rest of the members in the band are far more colorful and brighter than Compulsión, which is one of the interesting things about this album. Intuition, experimentation, immersion in the deep, dark ambience of loneliness and distress are the key concepts to understand this exploration of other paths in music and emotion that Cacho Salvador and bandmates are in.