Friday, June 21, 2013

Capsized! (2011)

(2011, Happy Jack Rock Records) 

Rolling right along in the nightmare of Circus Devils..... Grab your swim trunks, hold your breath, and get Capsized! Yeah, that's stupid, but if you listen to this record in your swim trunks it's probably not as weird as this record as a whole. Capsized! has a (very) loose nautical theme to it. What does it all mean? I don't know but it's another night swim down the twisted creek of Circus Devils. Oh, and there's a straight up POP-HIT thrown in for good mix. Released on opaque blue-gray vinyl!

To England The Tigers- 2 Serene soundscapes swell alongside cymbal rolls, and an electric guitar lead. Quite the picturesque opener. Cheesy, but appropriate.

Capsized!- 5 Looping marimba clip with an ominous crunchy sound effect. Hard-rock guitar slams with hollow reverbed vocals. Sparse, but eerily powerful in a wonderful way.

Cyclopean Runways- 5 In contrast to "Capsized!" this sounds like a straight-up hi-fi GBV tune. This is, to me, the most blatant hit of the Circus Devils catalog. The cheesy undercurrent of synth is the only indication of this being a maddened Tobias/Pollard concoction. This track is complete with big rock-pop hooks, and a vintage Pollard style vocal line. Yes. 

Legendary Breakfast Code- 3 About as easy-listening as Pollard gets, especially under the Circus Devils moniker. Diner music pop for your beach vacation getaway. 

Nully Scully- 3 Psych guitar scramble. Pollard hovers over the mix with ominous pop vocals. A trippy little jaunt lasting just a bit over the minute mark.

Ariel Poop Show- 3 Awful title, yes. The second instrumental track of the LP thus far. The same guitar line repeats over and over into oblivion as the clunky percussion transforms this into an oddly catchy, TV show theme type of dance tune.

Hangerman Suits- 3 Stomping track that remains subdued throughout, and wrapped tightly in its own guitar crunch and air raid sound effects. This song is another one that come off as mysteriously catchy.

Leave The Knife Curtis- 4 Steady, post-rock guitar line sounds a tad reminiscent of Slint, at least in it's chord structure. Pollard basically reads a surreal suicide negotiation piece. Almost too silly, but the song's repetitious nature is highly effective.

Vampire Playing A Red Piano- 3 Again, this one tramples through a touch of Slint territory. Tobias plays an empty room, haunting piano piece while Pollard whispers a surreal narrative. Great downer to wrap up Side-A.

Double Vision- 2 Almost a pretty awesome song. The chorus has a simple, sweet melodic hook over the sharp guitar-buzz. But Pollards' goofy accent ruins it. Then vomiting (literal) sound clips drop by to say hi and fuck off.

What Wallace?- 1 Forget Wallace. What is THIS? Instrumental drone gurgling. Nothing more, and maybe even less.

Plate Of Scales- 1 The WORST lyrics ever for anything ever, maybe. A song about food poisoning and throwing up on oneself in near complete literal fashion. Music is slightly interesting, but Pollard murders this one. Sheesh.

Siren- 3 Classic acoustic number with hushed vocals with anthemic choruses. Eventually erupts into full on space opus for 5 seconds! And.... end scene.

Henry Loop- 2 Plodding drum stomp with acoustic hits and droning, both instrumentally and vocally. Dull, and dragging. Not much though leaked onto this one.

Stiffs On Parade- 2 Farfisa (or maybe just a shitty Casio setting imitation) plays as the bass carries this Young Marble Giants-like skeletal tune. Just the right amount of minimal, but perhaps almost too dull for its own good.

The Matter Of Being Good- 3 Hard-rocker that actually never really "rocks" too "hard" at all. Chorus is pretty decent. Could have easily found a proper home on a solo Pollard affair. This, however, has some drones and UFO sound effects, so you know it's Circus Devils appropriate.

Gable's Ear Wax- 4 Pollard delivers what sounds like a rehashed mid-90s vocal melody and sings it over a bizarre, drum rolling, and abrasively spacey track. Both don't fit, and yet, it completely works.

End Of The Swell- 5 Classic 55 second Pollard melody. Acoustic guitar and melodic drone. Perfect little snippet.

Safe On A Vegetable- 2 Cheesy instrumental, late-night TV soap-opera beach tune. Not fantastic, but a pretty solid instrumental track to close out the LP.


  1. You are totally wrong about Plate of Scales and Legendary Breakfast Code. Easily the two most serene, beautiful and oddly unnerving soft songs in the whole band's catalogue

  2. I pretty much agree with James above. Legendary Breakfast Code is sublime. And, OK, Plate Of Scales has a gnarly lyric, but musically it's a full 5 star tune.
    But the most beautiful things in the catalogue? Not quite. Not while Gringo exists.