Friday, August 26, 2011

Reviewed :: The Capstan Shafts - Kind Empires

Last summer we were completely bowled over by Revelation Skirts from Dean Wells' The Capstan Shafts, you can find our review here. That album found Wells jettisoning some of the lo-fi aesthetic of his earlier releases in favor of recording his 1-3 minute pop songs in a professional studio. Now The Capstan Shafts have returned with a new LP, Kind Empires released last month and offered as a pay what you want deal via Bandcamp. The album finds The Capstan Shafts returning to their lo-fi ways on 14 unfettered and completely addictive tracks in just over 22 minutes. One of the many strengths of The Capstan Shafts is their no nonsense approach, vocals come in with the first 10 seconds, no slow build ups or pointless guitar solos, just concise pop anthems in rapid succession . The album opens with the one-two punch of Degenerate Era Sweetheart and Come Wilder that effectively set the tone for the approaching hook fest. Up For Being is a charming snippet of a song, and what we can only imagine The Capstan Shafts would sound like from your front porch. The guitar fuzz goes back up for Porn Name Equation, a song with a great self deprecating chorus "I'm the last boy you should kiss", if you're into that sort of thing and we most certainly are. Throughout the album Dean Wells (once again) exhibits a penchant for writing intelligent and engrossing melodies that have a habit of bouncing around your head for days on end. By the time you get to the albums closing track, Onetime Milwaukee Suicide in which Wells seems to have saved his best track of the set for last, don't be surprised if you feel the need to relive the last 22 minute all over again (and again). Above all, what makes Kind Empire such a pleasure to listen to is the fact that it's comprised of so many great songs.

The Capstan Shafts will play TT The Bears on September 8th with Slowdim, The Blue Ribbons, & Ryan Lee Crosby.

Order Kind Empires from Bandcamp

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