Capsule - Blue [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Blue [12 inch] (2008)

Robotic Empire

When I saw them at The Fest, Capsule were an ugly band. I don't mean physically. It was the sound itself -- an absolutely frothing, choking mess that was not for the lighthearted or claustrophobic. You know -- aurally, at least.

Needless to say, it was a bit overwhelming. But on record, everything makes a little more sense. Specifically, it's their Blue full-length, released about a year ago. The distortion is reared back a bit, and there's more room to breathe. All the angular riffs bounce around in a manner of chaos that's easy to discern, topped off with a scream I can only describe as smothered. For several tracks, it's just unrelenting, but at least you can understand and more easily digest the madness.

Capsule occasionally get labeled with the screamo tag and it doesn't really seem that accurate. This is more in the realm of a sped-up, experimental hardcore take on the Melvins or Black Flag's noisier era (partial credit to Aubin for noticing the similarities), though the band know how to lay back and offer more heavily ambient textures: "Determinal" is an extended, sonically dynamic centerpiece that stretches beyond the eight-minute mark and flows perfectly quietly into "Blue/Green." Yet all along, there's a very ash-black, smoldering layer to things and it's downright eerie.

Things kick back to "normal" with "Flowerpower," sticking it to the jugular with riffs pulled around sharp angles, bouncing every which way. Complex drum fills further complicate things, but it's interesting to follow it along. It's got another lumbering slowdown before the intensity comes back for the last three tracks.

As you might guess from the above descriptions, Blue is about easy to describe as it might be describing the color blue to a friend of Jonas. I can't say I'm floored, but it's a confounding experience that does leave you wanting more in some sick way.

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