Capillary Action - Fragments (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Capillary Action

Fragments (2004)


How do you classify an instrumental album that transcends genre? I'm not saying it's a mix of things, as in a homogenization of genre into ten songs. No, what I'm saying is that these ten songs each in and of themselves are strictly another genre. I mean, honest. The first song is ambient indie rock, while track two comes out with a prog-metal riff layered with dissonance and a bombast of piano smashing in a background. Then it breaks down into smooth, lounge jazz-guitar solos over ambient noises. Then back to the riff. Then back to the lounge jazz. Then one of the baddest metal riffs ever. And thus we have "Ticking Ghosts, Pt. 1," and "Ticking Ghosts, Pt. 2."

"Constant Steady Collapse" reminds me of indie rock video game music. Maybe the soundtrack to Outrun could be replaced by it. The laid-back, acoustic country-twinged pop of "Drive Through Twilight" is relaxing enough to play during a nap break. "Scattered Remnants" is sort of a smooth jazz odyssey, clocking in around eight minutes and featuring solos and moving parts. "A Hundred Pages Of Cannot Be Named" is a samba-influenced acoustic pop piece that I swear holds its Latin roots more authentically than most groups I've ever heard. "Mid-Coital Seizure" is Devo on crack. "It Was a Typewriter" is a short ambient noise piece with muted drums that I'd expect to be a B-side on Liars' They Were Wrong So We Drowned.

Perhaps the most impressive track comes next in the form of absolute kickass metalcore. I mean, it's an instrumental, so you know the entire focus is on the double guitar riffs, even during the breakdown. Oh, did I mention that there's an audio sample from Friday in it? "You got knocked the fuck out!" Then it's a spazz out bridge. Then it's a soft bridge with dissonance. Then it's prog-rock á la the Mars Volta, then super fast double-tapping riffs, then more spazz out á la grind, then more pianos and fading out.

"Pillars Disintegrate" is a slow tempo song that reminds me almost of a slowed down "Relative Ways" by Trail of Dead.

Anyway, the amazing part about this record is that every song is top notch and written of the highest quality. And every song is written and performed by one guy. Yes, one eighteen-year-old guy. The jazz solos are that of a veteran, the metal riffs rival Iommi's genius, the song layers revel that of Amon Duul II. It shows an amazing maturity and production values, seeing as how it was recorded by a roommate, mixed over a phone by some other guy, and self-released. Call it hype if you want, but I say this shit is genius and should be picked up by a real label.