Capillary Action – Fragments (CD)

“Ticking Ghosts, Pt. 1” is a instrumental track that shows Capillary Actions a little confused at the opening gates, different lines crash into each other and muddle what is honestly a very intelligent and complicated track. The band gets back on track before the distortion kicks in, ensuring that the recording is powerful enough to really affect listeners of all sizes and shapes. The second part of Ticking Ghosts begins in a much more brusque way than the previous track; the brooding guitar noodling that follows that really does not prepare listeners for the sort of free-style noise that is reminiscent of bands like The Locust and Lightning Bolt. The track bounces between the very Charlie Brown-esque piano lines and the more thoughtful, quieter arrangements for the track’s near-six minute runtime.

In fact, where the track really tends to have a noise component, one would be amiss to ignore the jazz component that drives both the quiet and the noisy sections of the track. The inclusion of a synthesizer line gives “Constant Steady Collapse” a very seventies (almost disco) feel that works nonetheless with the differing time signatures and difficult arrangements of the band. The aural equivalent to ADD, Capillary Action really is not content with continuing a groove for seemingly more than thirty sections. This feeling ensures that the tracks are collections of differing influences – a sort of Wario Ware of sounds – and that listeners will not get tired by the fifth or sixth minute (for tracks like “Scattered Remnants”). “Driving Through Twilight” may just be the one Capillary Action song that works on a traditional, radio-friendly wavelength. The track opts to couch itself in the dream-pop of bands like My Bloody Valentine and maintains the instrumental nature of the band, using an Eagles-like guitar to do the talking for this mostly-mute band. This minor derivation into traditional music is gone by the time that a track like “Mid-Coital Seizure” begins, which does include a sped-up set of vocals to open the track.

This is done before a raucous, separated track that only kicks into less-punctuated music over half-way through. This disc is a true challenge to get through on a single listen, especially considering the density and experimental nature of practically all the tracks on the disc. “Pillars Disintegrate” ends the disc, actually showing a sadness in its ending arrangements that provide the perfect ending to this disc.

Top Tracks: Pillars Disintegrate, Mid-Coital Seizure

Rating: 5.6/10

Capillary Action – Fragments / 2005 Pangaea / http://www.capillaryaction.net / http://www.pangaearecordings.com / Reviewed 05 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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