Captain vs. Crew

Sometimes Up Is the Only Direction

Portland-relocated Chicoans and indie rockers Tim and Shawna Ervin-Gore have released a compelling set of new music with their band, Captain vs. Crew: Shawna plays drums while Tim plays guitar and sings, everything rounded out nicely by bassist Brunson Moody and guitarist Rob Jones.

With its frantic opening drums and edgy vocals, “The Finest in Italian Metal, Pt. 1” rapidly becomes enveloped in crudely recorded power chords, Tim’s voice becoming a screech. What’s interesting is the almost amateur sound quality of the recording: trebly, stark, devoid of effects like echo or chorus—it could have been literally captured in somebody’s garage. However, the playing is tight and spotless, belying any suggestions of incompetence.

Other standout tracks include: “Skeletons,” with its staggered drum riff and its strained-yet-still-attractive melody; the volatile guitar line roiling through “It’s a Brutal Path of Destruction”; the edgy jazz ambience of “Downtime,” with its sometimes dissonant background scales; and set-closer “The Strawberries of Spain,” with its moody musical accents, naked electric guitar, and earnest admission, “I don’t think I’ll ever know/ Another sweeter than that.”

If you’re an indie fan, definitely give this a spin.Captain vs. Crew plays the Riff Raff Rock Bar at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22.