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CD REVIEW: Captain Tripps - Captain Tripps
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/11/2011 - 12:47 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Captain Tripps
Album: Self-titled
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Trip-Hop, Pop/Rock, New Wave, Soul
Sounds Like: Oingo Boingo, Gorillaz, The Pixies, Smashmouth
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Did you Shine, Beneath the Planet of Dark
Weakness: None
CD Review:

Captain Tripps is an intersting 3 piece indie rock band with a roster of 6 musicians from all across the United States. The 3 core members are: David Ray Domingo (vocals, guitar, percussion keyboards), Brent Wahl (bass guitar) and Mark Skey (lead guitars). Their latest self-titled release was released in 2011. CD was produced by Don Masaitis.

The CD starts off with “Prelude To” a psychedelic R&B guitar groove meshed against emotionally charged vocal delivery, driving rock rythem and well palced vocal accents and harmonies from Domingo and company. Track 2 “A Broken Life” serves up an infectious instrumental piece coupled with psychedelic rock & roll flow coupled with well-placed slide guitar and hypnotic keyboard accents. Track 3 “Machinehead and the Carnival” is a tripped out rock ditty that flows & ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 solid tracks in a row. It’s quite amazing how hard Captain Tripps is to pigeonhole. Right from the start you will notice Domingo, Wahl, Skey and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a psychedelic flair reminiscent of do I dare say Oingo Boingo, The Gorillaz, The Pixies, and even Smashmouth. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board dishing out impressive bluesy guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing. Equally as impressive is the vocal presence of Domingo. The musicianship from all the supporting players (6 musicians) is above the bar and has everything you would expect. Besides the standard 4 piece musical delivery you will also notice many other impressive musical textures with things like psychedelic ambience, lush harmonies, xylophone, cowbell, well placed keyboard accents, horns, orchestral strings and a slew of musical touches that are both creative and brilliant. Domingo clearly make the (singer to listener) vocal connection with his singing. The songs themselves are short and sweet musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair, and signature groove. I can honestly say some of these songs have hit potential written all over them. From heartfelt “The Winter” to rocking "Big Monkey Zonbies from Outer Space” to striking “The Planet of the Dark” to my personal favorite “Did you Shine” its safe to say this CD has something for just about everyone. CD ends with "Fly" the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD. Transition between tracks 2 and 3 is to say the least a bit sloppy. Track listing on the back of the CD is incorrect and extermely confusing. It’s fair to say all songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.

Captain Tripps is the one of the most impressive and tripped out musical experiences that’s slid across my desk this year. It’s strong suit? Pick one – amazing songs, marketable sound, strong production value, song for song consistency, amazing musicianship and strong vocal presence. These 3 make a deadly combination indeed. Bring in a slew of session players (6 total) and the production expertise of Don Masaitis - will no doubt render a grand slam of a production. So if you like a psychadelic musical presentation that is packed to the hilt with amazing musical diversity that is both fresh sounding and highly entertaining then I highly recommend you jump head first into Captain Tripps.

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