Preview: Farewell Captain Emerges With Amends

While many bands saw themselves stalled during the pandemic, others took the forced downtime to finish up a long-in-the-works album, and I am very happy to share that Farewell Captain firmly falls into that second group. The band, led by singer and guitarist Mark Ruggiero, includes a wide range of ace musicians from numerous Chicago bands, including Chris Frantisak on keys, Chris Landefeld on bass, Tom Counihan (a.k.a. Tom Daily) on guitars and Mark Doyle on drums.

On Amends, Farewell Captain’s third album, the group tightens its attack, combining classic rock riffs with indie underground attitude, creating what is their sharpest release yet. And Ruggiero is a standout here, with vocals that are ambitious in their reach and land every note just right. It’s rare that I hear a singer make a quantum leap in their approach between albums like this, but it’s a true pleasure to follow the sometimes unpredictable melodies that thrill while still managing to feel timelessly familiar.

The album's original tracks were recorded by Greg Norman at Electrical Audio and Normaphone a while ago, but as mentioned earlier, the band took the “forced downtime” to mix and master the album at their own pace, resulting in the most layered yet undeniably hooky listening experience I’ve had in quite a while.

Whether you need to turbocharge your day, or reminisce quietly in the dark, Amends somehow scratches both those itches simultaneously. Farewell Captain doesn’t play out that often these days, but they are playing a show at The Burlington tomorrow night, May 15, with Soft Speaker and The Embryos. With an album this good to finally play in front of a crowd, I have a feeling this will be a memorable gig you won’t want to miss.

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Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed.