Capillary Action - So Embarrassing
The guys in Capillary Action were nice enough to send along a promo unrequested, having noticed my talk and enjoyment of friends Kayo Dot. They drew on a connection to the latter and told me I would dig their new album, So Embarrassing. Jonathan (Pfeffer, twisted mastermind, vocalist, guitar player and songwriter) also seems to have an obsession with Dilophosaurus and may possibly be insane. General care should be taken when encountering Capillary Action, and a heightened sense of awareness should accompany So Embarrassing.
The ears rarely hear what the mind expects. Vice-versa applies, but not here. I was totally taken back with the album after one listen, and then each subsequent listen has driven me deeper into the strange experimentations. To specify a genre or particular sound here would be futile; 30 seconds of opener "Gambit" should make that clear. The album as a whole is loosely tied to a structure, however; one of free-form jazz and blues, strings and horns weaving with Jonathan's soulful croon, spats of frantic percussion and guitar meddling that reminds me of Syd Barrett in his early (productive) years. But you'll hear so much more; DEP-styled math-metal breakdowns where even the horns and strings melt into a mess of ear-piercing ferocity. The (other) wordly themes of "Paperweights" stick out like a deliciously sore thumb. The Fantomas-esque sinister feel of "The Chaperone" also tickles my fancy. There's more to So Embarassing and it's 11 tracks than some bands get around to in a career's span.
What's not included? We've got tip-top musicianship (to pull this music off, I take my hat off to everyone involved), we've got variety galore, we've got the works. What might hold people back is the way that variety mashes up, rarely leaving room for interludes or pauses from the chaos inside. But there's more to Capillary Action than just another whatever-core genre-crossing outfit; they have a class and a skill amongst their ranks that pushes through in each and every song, creating symphonies of disharmony I can see myself returning to over and over again.
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