In recent years, more and more bands have adopted Americana imagery, be it merch with Boy Scout-styled patches on it, album covers with pictures of Appalachian forests, or wearing collegiate apparel, like Bluto from Animal House. The Successful Failures, however, manage to exemplify this image with their blue-collar indie punk sound which meshes influences in The Replacements and The Raconteurs with vocals akin to Michael Stipe and Glenn Frey of the Eagles.
Captains Of Industry, Captains Of War starts out with “Stagger Lee & Woodrow Wilson,” a mellow punk song that could easily be seen on a Title Fight album, especially with the band’s use of low, chunky bass, slightly distorted guitars, and accent-based drums. “Milwaukee” sees the band explore their power pop roots in what can be described as Weezer meets The Beach Boys; this little ditty contains hollow-body guitar riffs and a simple, yet beautiful synth organ and piano solo.
“Hit The Ground Running” steers the group into a strange, yet effective mix of Cajun, gypsy, and straight rock as an accordion and mandolin ushers in the first verse. Even more uncommon musical choices are made in this song, including minor-key verses leading into major-key choruses, guitar licks that emulate a violin at first listen, and a jazzy break that includes call and response between piano, bass, guitar, and eventually a saxophone. The rest of the album includes influences from grunge (“Ghost Around Here”), country (“Falling Out”), and classic punk rock (“Sunny In My Head”).
The Successful Failures have made their own sound, all while improving upon the various influences brought to the table. Bassist/vocalist Ron, drummer Rob, and vocalist/ guitarist Mick have also shown that, no matter how many ‘Likes’ they have on Facebook, they’ve hit the ground running to bring us music that everyone can enjoy.