I recently had an urge to delve back a few years and have a listen to Failsafe’s awesome album The Truth Is. I noticed they hadn’t recorded any new music since 2012 but, being at work, my curiosity didn’t get the best of me.
A couple of days later I received a press release revealing the new EP from Preston’s melodic rock band The Capital, which featured ex-Failsafe members. My intrigue was hooked, but reading on I learned the sad circumstances surrounding the formation of this new band.
Failsafe suffered the devastating loss of guitarist Matt Cogley in 2015. Brought together by their love for Matt and under a united banner of grief, several members of Failsafe began to put into place a new project alongside members of other local bands to honour the memory of their friend, while teaming up with mental health charities We Are Hummingbird and CALM for various fundraising events in his name.
The lineup of Seamus Mcloughlin (vocals and guitar), Andy Sprake (lead guitar), Nik Taylor (guitar), Scott Bampton (bass) and Rob Catlow (drums) got to work on crafting a musical direction steered by melodic punk of bands like Hot Water Music and The Flatliners, and the showmanship and vocal acrobatics of more mainstream influences like the Foo Fighters and Mumford and Sons. Debut EP Hummingbird followed, with its title single evoking a powerful response from fans who racked up over 10,000 views in a few weeks.
As Andy explains: “It’s out of respect and love for Matt that we’re carrying on playing music, because that’s what brought us together in the first place. We’re never going to move on, but we can move forward and always keep him with us.”
They’ve just released their second EP This Place Matters, which is inspired by the sad demise of many of the UK’s best music venues. Recorded at the prestigious Middle Farm Studios with producer Peter Miles (Frank Turner, We Are The Ocean) over three days, the band took a stripped back approach to recording, passing up ‘studio trickery’ in favour of vintage gear and embracing slight imperfections that give the tracks more of a live feel.
On their time in the studio, Rob said: “We worked with Pete on the first two Failsafe albums. We’ve had a solid friendship with him for well over 10 years now and with that comes a lot of trust. He has a gorgeous studio, and we knew he could get the best work from us. We love working with him, and we’ll hopefully work with him again in the near future.”
The EP kicks off with a reverby sound then blasts into a big guitar intro to lead single Trouble. Then Seamus’ engaging vocals kick in with a lively verse that leads into a big catchy chorus with infectious cries of “We’re in trouble” alongside darting guitar licks in the background. A drawn-out guitar solo follows supported by pounding drums, then drops into a slowly building section that ends on a big cry from Seamus before one last energetic chorus. It’s a superb start to the EP, and you can check it out in the video below:
That’s followed by the lively Harbour In A Storm, which kicks off with a driving drumbeat that flows into a catchy opening verse, then drops into a mellow pre-chorus that bursts into life in a big singalong chorus. The second chorus is followed by a cool section of building guitars then drops into a slower chillout before bursting into a big final chorus.
Rise Above It All shows off a punkier edge to The Capital sound, with fast-paced punky guitars and relentless pounding supporting Seamus’ vocals. While title track This Place Matters is more of a singalong rocky ballad, the EP closes out with the slightly more upbeat Only Human, which ends on a delicious drawn-out guitar solo before closing with a final rocky chorus.
The EP is chocked full of big singalong rock tracks led by Seamus’ engaging vocals but with plenty of hugely enjoyable riffs and solos to keep you entertained.