Anxiety and discontent run high on the Harmony Cure, the latest EP from Phoenix-based prog-ska band, Captain Squeegee. In five songs, the band explores the dark side of a mind riddled with worry and stress. The opening track, “Our Children,” is a rally cry for people to come together and make the world a better place for future generations. Though the song has a darker sound than most ska, a genre known for upbeat “pick it up” tempos, there is a reggae/second wave ska influence throughout the first track and on other parts of the EP. The second song switches to a piano intro reminiscent of Black Parade era My Chemical Romance. The sonic tension rises and falls as the narrator confesses their fear that they will “drown and die alone.”
“Just A Brain” is the proggiest song in the mix. It addresses issues of mental health and anxiety bluntly and transparently. Interestingly, the transparent approach to mental health issues take a turn on the following track, “Smile Shield,” in which the narrator attempts to portray happiness in the midst of a season of depression: “Put up your smile shield / deflect the feels.” Captain Squeegee has been compared to The Mars Volta, and this sound is most prominent on Harmony Cure‘s final track, “Ghost Ships.” With Cedric-like vocal stylings and similar drum patterns, it is easy to see the comparison to the prog rock gods. The EP as a whole isn’t really prog, ska, or reggae, and yet reggae, prog, and ska fans will all feel at home in Harmony Cure.