Taming a Captured Man

Plattsburgh indie-folk group the Choking Beaver Project has released their first full-length album

Story and photo by Nick Will
Album artwork courtesy of the Choking Beaver Project

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Cover art for Captured Man

"Captured Man", The Choking Beaver Project’s first full length album, hit the band’s Bandcamp profile on November 12 and has gotten some recognition from local fans over the last month. “Captured Man” has 10 tracks, all of which are original songs that showcase the band's integration of its members' various musical styles.

The Choking Beaver Project, also known as Almonzo’s Plow to some, is known for their energetic house shows. Although this album falls a bit from that mark, its soothing folk verses and introspective lines are still pleasing to the ears.

The album in its entirety is driven almost solely on a folk/rock sound. After "Dresden," the opening song, you can easily lose your place moving from track to track, as a lot of the verses sound instrumentally similar. This is traditional of most folk music, and this album fits the genre nicely.

Track four in particular, though, “We All Wanna Die in a Fire,” shows a little more of the bands eclectic sound. With a very upbeat bass opening, followed by an almost reggae guitar part that leads into a well-crafted violin piece, “Die in a Fire” gets the listener out of a folk coma and into a little more of the band’s energetic live sound.

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Left: Aaron Adams, Lead Guitar and Vocals. Right: Garth Clark, Guitar and Vocals.

Their energetic sound also comes out in tracks such as “Month of May” and “40/Male/Happy.” The latter, in particular, is extremely indie rock, and moves even further out of the folk zone. With heavier guitars and a very snare filled drum opening, this song is lyrically and instrumentally pleasing.

The band stays true to their part-jumping traditions by sharing vocals on different tracks. Mike Underwood, Garth Clark, and Aaron Adams all soothe the ears with their harmonies throughout the album, and the sound is almost hypnotic in some cases.

Instrumentally, the album is well done to say the least. Aside from a few violin parts that sound a bit out of place, the instrumental parts lead the vocals well, and the drum beats that Tim Davis lays down are all simple, yet unique to each track.

Although the album definitely does not showcase The Choking Beaver Project’s energy and showmanship, it is well written and a great addition to the indie folk world.

APN gives “Captured Man” 3 out of 5 stars.

What do you think of the Choking Beaver Project's live performances?

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