In today's music market, it seems almost standard to front-load an album so that the listener has heard everything the album has to offer by the fourth song. I guess that Mindfilming by Captain Wilberforce could be considered an anomaly.
Lead by Simon Bristoll and Daz Battersby, the band wastes little time showing off their pop sensibilities. The album opens with "Glass", a track that is a fairly good representation of the album as a whole: great melodies with somewhat silly lyrics. Although the Captain yearns to be meaningful, the line "I always break up like glass" seems a bit uninspired. The album reaches its low point during the sickeningly poppy fourth track, "A Very British Earthquake", when we hear "Cleopatra, I know you could have the pick of the whole football team." Gross.
Luckily for us, the album quickly rebounds. The next track, "No Guarantees", bridges the banal and the beautiful, and contains one of the more thoughtful queries: "Do we dream the same dreams?" At this point, the album really starts moving. "Singer Wanted, Preferably Dead" adds some crunch to the music, compliments of distorted power chords and heavy drumming. The following track, "Teaching You to Swim" is one of the more heartfelt songs, summed up by the line "I still have pictures of me teaching you to swim."
"After Her", the album's closer, seems wonderfully out of place. Gone are the over-hashed pop numbers, and the group assumes an indie front. As a matter of fact, I had to go through my music collection and make sure that it wasn't a Radiohead cover. By the time this song ends, you are willing to pardon the band for the first half of the album.
Although Captain Wilberforce isn't overly original, the band has great potential. Only time will reveal the band's identity and direction.