Hey Thanks Goodbye is a dynamic record about love. It’s a hackneyed subject but all of us at one point in life, some worse than others. Captain Samurai, the love-plagued-trio, ranges from the ages of 15 - 18, who are influenced by angst, futile love and Akon fandom. Their debut, Nothing Part Zero, was more of a solo effort from the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Amador Diaz, with his band mates Willy Carrasco and Aaron Medina playing whatever directives Diaz had for them on bass and drums respectively.
You could say Hey Thanks Goodbye (via 80N7 Records) is their true debut as a band, where each member has a hand their self-issued “soft punk” identity. From the opener to the closer, the record can been seen as a progression of one’s mindset post-breakup. Without the vague lovesick metaphors, the straightforward lyrics on the record bypass your cerebral filters and don’t take long to sink in.
The rambunctious opener, “Tear Me Down/Wear Me Out” sets up the agonizing love story. Relationship on the fritz, Diaz reminisces but concedes to the notion of staying friends: “should we try should we try to make this work / I will just end up hurt.” The blazing jam monetarily dissolves then re-ups with percolating synths that dances over the unbridled ending. The bubbly instrumentation on “The Daylight” are a facade for the gloomy feelings that are really transpiring. The sparky soft punk shimmy is ripe with pop connotations with hooks that grow on you the more you listen. “Feel Alright” is heartfelt punk that almost feels symphonic as airy melodies run rampant, coinciding with sleepy synth lines (a la Yo La Tengo).
“I Don’t Care” features bassist Willy Carrasco on lead vocals, a bit of a departure from Diaz’s grimy growling. In someways, it can be another “voice” in the record’s narrative or Diaz’s subconscious trying to tell him to move on. The inevitable toll takes place on “Tired.” Shrink-wrapped in angst, the cold-toned instrumentation is the heaviest on the record and almost Dinosaur Jr.-like. Even Diaz’s vocals sound like a groggy J Mascis. Jumping back on the horse, the sprawling “Can’t Wait” injects anxiousness and hope (“you were mine once I hope you’ll be mine again I need you more than a friend”), complemented by the floating electronics and rip-roaring guitar-bass-drums combo. “Different Cities” deals with the physical distance that college creates, which is the nail in the coffin for most high school relationships. But Diaz detests this sentence and refuses to let distance be a factor (“I’ll meet you I don’t care where you are / you are a thousand miles away you’re never too far”).
Closing the record, “We’ll Be Friends Forever” is a verbose last ditch effort in winning her back. Diaz pours whatever feelings he has left into the gentle tirade, “every fucking night I want to cry / I want to sink into your arms and have you tell me goodnight / that you love me, that you love the idea of us.” The jangly ballad is mostly a solo track until the very end, when the band reconvenes for the forceful outro.
Mired in the pitfalls of love, Hey Thanks Goodbye won’t be the record to help you get over your breakup, but shit, it might be the best love record you’ll hear all year.