Right off the bat, Capsule's Blue - their first full length and first record for Robotic Empire - is visually stunning in a way that immediately draws one's attention to it, No, it is not all bright colors, but Blue is blessed with a much more subtle example of artwork which effectively utilizes negative space on the cover in the composition and tops it off with a real "glossy" finish making for an eye catching release. Again, Robotic Empire is packaging the CD with the vinyl giving people the choice of their listening format and also negates the need for vinyl obsessive individuals like myself to purchase the record twice, as I often find myself doing. The total package for this release is quite good and effective at the same time. As for the band, Capsule - based out of sunny Florida - is a hardcore band more along the lines of Angel Hair than many records on Deathwish or Bridge 9 with some spazzy guitars and some tight rhythms that took me back a bit when this first popped on the stereo.
"True Blue," a fitting title for the opening offering of this ten track record, is a short instrumental that has an awesome bottom end sound that contrasts with the higher register of the guitar line; this is immediately not what I was expecting at all and is actually a pleasant surprise. This higher register guitar sound continues to shine on the song that immediately follows, "Cobalt Connection", in a spazzed out cacophony of sound that gradually gels into something that is a bit easier to follow or rather a more conventional structure, while maintaining elements of the chaotic beginning. The "Title Track" is an excellent example of the more compact side of Capsule with a great bottom sound, interesting rhythmic patterns, and good guitar work. Even though some of the songs sound, at least on the surface, to be widely different, Capsule makes all the pieces sound like them. And while I can swear that I hear vague and subtle impressions of bands like Hot Water Music (particularly on "There's Another Word for This" in the way the vocals sound beneath the craziness of the music), Orchid, You and I, and Baroness (check out the guitar leads in "Symptom of Spectacle" at a little over the minute into the song for reference points), Blue is unmistakably the product of Capsule's hard work. However, it is on tracks like "Determinal," "Blue/Green," and to some extent "Flowerpower" that Capsule really shines by not having to jam their ideas into just barely or not even two minute long blasts which give them the chance to really play with sound textures and mood and atmosphere and dynamics.
A refreshing offering from a relatively new band (relatively because they have been around for several years but this is my first experience with their music) Capsule's Blue contains some raucous moments that keep the album from going stale at any point while it also has more drawn out atmospheric pieces that lend a balance to the album as a whole. Blue is chuck full of sophisticated arrangements and sounds that truly make me question that this is Capsule's first full-length. And although the members of this three piece have been in bands before this project, it is still impressive that they seem so at ease with each others playing. Blue is well worth the time, effort, and money to add to anyone's collection.
7.2 / 10
Posted June 17, 2015, 12:42 p.m.
Miami's Wrong have joined Relapse Records and will enter the studio this August to record their debut full-length for the label. The band was formed after the demise of ...
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