Until I Turn To Dust
Album by Captain Chucke
Review by Roy Peak
The genre of folk punk is still evolving and can be many things, some of which often contradict one another. Sometimes the artist's personal choice in their state of sobriety or instrument tuning can be questionable, sometimes not. Some of these bands are strictly acoustic while others employ a range of instruments including electric guitars, synths, and drum machines. The one thing they all have in common is passionate songs about the changing times we all find ourselves in. Songs about politics, climate change, being in debt, and how hopeless the future seems are all typical of modern folk punk material.
Captain Chucke and his band go the strictly acoustic instrument route (banjolele, guitar, saxophone, and violin) and play in a mostly contemporary bluegrass style—although one that is revved up a bit—and are completely unafraid to tackle themes that you won't hear at many bluegrass shows. "We're in a police state, that's what they say. Me, I voted for anarchy. The system's not broke, It was built this way," the good Captain sings in "1984."
Songs like "Climate Change Refugee," "Roadside Bed," "Don't You Think Twice About Me," and several others here are all about moving on, whether because you have to or because you want to. Whether by walking away or hopping a train, it matters not as quite often it's just the act of moving on that matters most.
The album ends on a rare "up" note with "Coming Back for More." Chugging acoustics and a weaving fiddle line keep a nice bed for the lyrics, which are more positive than anything else on the album. Perhaps these folk punkers have found something worth looking forward to after all?
This album was recorded and mixed in two all-day long sessions, keeping it all fresh and real as it gets. What you hear is most likely what you get live from Captain Chucke and his band of cohorts.
If you like supporting good causes mixed in with your musical purchases you'll be happy to know that 20% of everything Captain Chucke makes from this album will go to the climate change action group, Extinction Rebellion, an organization which raises awareness for climate change through peaceful protesting.
You can check out Until I Turn to Dust by Captain Chucke at the Bandcamp link below, or Spotify.
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville.