Year 5, Day 3: The Muncie Girls Strike Infectious Indie Pop-Punk Gold with “From Caplan to Belsize”

Year 5, Day 3: Muncie Girls – From Caplan to Belsize

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Track List

  1. Learn in School
  2. Gone With the Wind
  3. Respect
  4. Balloon
  5. Social Side
  6. Nervous
  7. Gas Mask 4
  8. I Don’t Want to Talk About It
  9. Committee
  10. No Recording

About the Album

From Caplan to Belsize is the debut album from three-piece indie/alternative rock band, Muncie Girls. The album was released on March 4th 2016 through Specialist Subject Records in the United Kingdom, Uncle M Records in the rest of Europe, and Animal Style Records in the United States. 

Thoughts on the Album

This album, for me, was on of the undiscovered gems. A diamond in the rough of a music genre flooded with overrated crap and overplayed garbage. It was a delight to discover this album while creating a new playlist on Spotify. From the first listen of Muncie Girls‘ debut album, From Caplan to Belsize, I was instantly hooked. The vocals are crisp. The guitars are a combination of bouncy and crunchy. The bass work powers the album and the drums provide a steady pace and groove.

From Caplan to Belsize set the tone for indie rock with punchy and crunchy riffs combined with political overtones and personal lyrics. The album delves into a wide variety of topics and issues facing society today. For example, I Don’t Want to Talk About It discusses classism and gender roles through hazy guitar and moody, but blunt lyrics. Tracks like Learn in School and Gone With the Wind utilize their seemingly grungy vibes and infectious choruses to lift you up and inspire change. 

The album opens with Learn in School, a track where lead singer Lande Hekt laments about how she was never taught any kind of radical political or social ideas in school and rather had to self-educate.

All the things you didn’t learn in school, and why it feels like no one knows the truth/ The systems we rely on aren’t for you, they’re for the lucky fucking few…

She uses this thirst and quest for knowledge to incite the listener. The mood of the song is one of activism rather than lethargy… to learn more than what people teach you. The guitar riff towards the end of the track is top notch and really powers the track to an excellent finish. The rhythm of the verses really swings and when combined with the soaring (and rather thumping) indie rock chorus, you get the makings of an excellent rock song.

Generally speaking, the first few tracks of an album make or break it. If the tracks that follow up the first one don’t work out all that well or don’t mesh well, the album will be dead on arrival. However, with From Caplan to Belsize, this is not the case. the second track, Gone With the Wind comes in, hot on the heels of Learn in School. The track seems to resonate with me, as it represents an abrupt change from the preceding track. Gone With the Wind follows a more… traditional indie punk format with repeated verses and the chorus. The track pulses with a fervor of antisocial and self-destructive behavior…

You can find me under the table, I’m not coming out/ I’ve had too many beers and I’ve got nothing to be happy about.

There is something to be said about the musicianship of an album. You can have an excellent album without equally excellent musicianship. Hekt and her bandmates project these complex, dense, and vivid images that both fit around the songwriting and the music. Hekt’s delivery on each track keeps each track from being bland and mundane.

Balloon is a track that shines and shimmers throughout the album. It’s no wonder why it was chosen as the album’s lead single. It’s a track that is excellently written that sums up the themes of the entire album. A pop-punk gem whose chord progression and powerful drums make it one of the most exciting tracks to listen to on the album. It is on this track that Hekt’s voice is at it’s strongest and I would say the most fierce and magnificent.

Other highlights for me include the slow starting but still excellent I Don’t Want to Talk About It, the anthemic Respect, and the rather touching Social Side.

Conclusion

Muncie Girls‘ From Caplan to Belsize is an earnest and respectable effort. It’s labeled as “indie” but it’s has pop-punk and alternative rock styling filled throughout the album. The album creates a fresh touch to an other wise bland and over-saturated genre of indie.It hard for a band to produce such a variety of songs on an album and maintain consistency, but the Muncie Girls do it in such a manner that is refreshing. An album for the DIY (and DIY punks) out there, the band doesn’t shy away from utilizing their platform to speak out. From Caplan to Belsize is a sincere and catchy socially conscious album.

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