I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Help: “Capital Punishment”


So goes the opening line of Capital Punishment, the twenty-two minute EP by Buffalo, New York’s I’m From the Government And I’m Here To Help – released earlier this month.

And it’s an appropriate one, as this EP features some of the most combative metalcore/melodic thrash/whatever the kids are calling it these days that you’re likely to encounter.

So yeah. We’re stepping out of our tech-death/prog comfort zone this week to give some god damned credit where credit is due. If you’re looking for something flashy and over-the-top, read no further, as Government rolls with about as much sophistication as an Abram’s tank.


image by Meredith Snow


Channeling a healthy amount of the “tough guy”, bro-core attitude, the Government boys go right for the throat with each track. It’s got plenty of intense, melodic riffage-loaded with bounce and hooks. Tasteful breakdowns. Gang vocals. The occasional blastbeat. And absolutely no couth.

While the sound Capital Punishment achieves isn’t one that generally requires a great deal of flare, the band are clearly no slouches when brandishing their weapons of choice. Some of the guitar harmonies are surprisingly moving. Many of the riffs will surprise you with their intricacies. There are plenty of bones thrown to any carefully listening musicians.

Despite rocking some tightly crafted instrumentals, it’s frontman, Thom Bieler, who totally steals the show. His performance slaughters-his harsh wails delivering the often militant lyrics all-too-fittingly. He’s front-and-center, in command, and unrefined to an excellence.

If there’s one shortcoming with the EP, it’s that I find that myself thinking, “have I heard this before?” relatively often. Perhaps it’s the nature of the style, or maybe an intentional tribute to their influences. In any case, the release certainly doesn’t feel new. If you had told me that it dropped in 2008, I don’t think many listeners would have batted an eye.

But that hardly matters when talking about substance.

Capital Punishment is fucking awesome. A demonstration of American Metalcore as it ought to be. While maybe it is a bit of a throwback, that isn’t a bad thing. It feels raw. More honest. Stripped down to the essentials. And frankly, I don’t the band gives a fuck.


For Fans Of: UnearthShadows FallAs I Lay Dying

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I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Help is:

Vocals: Thom Bieler

Guitars: Ronnie LePine and Robby Warren

Bass/Vocals: Jake Weisnet

Drums: Steve Keicher

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