When we started our Last.fm account a year or so ago one of the first things we did was enter some of our favorite artists into our library. It will come as little surprise to those of you who know us or read these pages with any regularity, those artist are of the lo-fi variety. Well with each entry Last.fm makes recommendation of like minded or at least like sounding artists. A band by the name of The Capstan Shafts kept appearing and before long I gave said band a listen and about 30 seconds in I was pretty much hooked. Dean Wells started releasing music under The Capstan Shafts moniker around 1999, first on home made CDR's out of Lydonville,Vermont and more recently with Manhattan's Rainbow Quartz label.
Revelation Skirts is the brand new long player from Wells's The Capstan Shafts and from the first track you notice right away that this is a more polished affair, not that it ever exceeds the mid-fi territory. But the guitar riffs are up front and the vocals are crisp, clear, and the anthems are catchy as hell. There are some obvious touchstones like that band a former school teacher fronted, you might refer to them by their three letter acronym. The Capstan Shafts make the most of those influences without ever sounding like a rehash. In fact's on tracks like Your Wasted Talent Here and Little Burst of Sunshine, Wells' embraces jangle pop with choruses that will bounce around your head for days on end. However The Capstan Shafts are at their best to our ears with guitars wailing and drums pounded, as on pop anthems like Class War Tease.
Some records can hook in on first listen and others seem to get better and better with each subsequent listen, somehow Revelation Skirts manages to do both. We just feel a little silly that it took a British website to introduce us to our new favorite American band.
Revelation Skirts is so completely in our wheel house it almost seems unfair to review it, but records this good don't come along very often. Someone recently asked us why don't we just cover bands that have more mass appeal to attract more readers? What fun would that be to cover music we have absolutely no affinity for. Plus that would leave less time devoted to under the radar bands so completely deserving of our time and attention like The Capstan Shafts.
Order Revelation Skirts from Rainbow Quartz
[MP3/Steam] The Capstan Shafts - Quiet Wars