PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Music

The Capsules: Someone for Everyone

Jason MacNeil

The Capsules

Someone for Everyone

Label: Urinine
US Release Date: 2004-03-23
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

The Capsules are from Lawrence, Kansas, not exactly a hotbed for rock acts in this day and age. Having debuted live as a supporting act for accomplished and acclaimed group Low, the duo of Jason Shields and Julie Shieds have shed the skin of their previous band Shallow to continue where they left off with their debut album, 2002's Reverser. The Shields are also a husband and wife team, so don't start your Meg and Jack White comparisons, please. What the Capsules use to their advantage is a dreamy but still rather hopeless, dreary background that comes from listening to one too many Jesus and Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine albums. It's this aura that greets the listener on "Light the Path", with Julie working off a sparse-yet-infectious hook before the Richard Hawley-esque guitar theatrics during his days with Pulp. "You were lighter than air flying higher than anyone", she sings à la Delores O'Riordan minus the lilt.

Grandiose and dramatic guitar riffs greet a lot of the numbers, especially the pleasing and quickly infectious "Slideshow". It's a continual building of tension and guitars but never crashes through, resulting in a consistent eerie feeling. It actually decreases during the bridge, not really regaining its second wind but coming awfully close. Julie Shields is the star of this record, having the innocence in her pipes of a church choir member on the reflective "My Lucky Stars". The Capsules screw around with the formula somewhat on the electronica-tinged "Day Sweeper" that moves just above a snail's pace but isn't exactly a rock dirge. "Starting Tomorrow" is a tune best described as something old and something new. The quasi-military drumbeat lays the groundwork for the smooth harmonies and the lush, picturesque accents of what might be synthesized strings before fading with little more than a whimper.

If there's one minor beef with the album, it's that the Capsules rarely challenge themselves with the material. Each tune is well crafted and executed, but there is little change in the tone or tempo of the hypnotic, spiraling efforts. "When the Radio Stops" is a prime example -- strong vocals, minimal arrangements that make the Velvet Underground seem like a big band orchestra and a overall effect that tends not to grow on the listener but not exactly turn one off. Of course after writing this they change things up somewhat, if fleetingly. "Visual Searching Pattern" thankfully moves into groundbreaking territory, keeping all the nuances of the album in place but adding new sonic flavors and voice or conversation samples or loops.

"What I Learned about Zero" resorts to the first few tracks and there is little to no change in Julie's vocals. It's a tune that brings the Cure's Bloodflowers to mind, especially "The Loudest Sound", a relationship that was never truly realized but enjoyed for the moment. "Zero was a boy who lived on Broadway Street / I knew I found a friend, we had the same dreams", she sings while Jason complements her on electric guitar. It's possibly the album's highlight, as everything they've been doing comes to fruition here. "Net of Ghosts" continues down this path, although the jagged backbeat and occasional blips and beeps leave a lot to be desired. But it's back to square one again with "Turn to Stars", which is simply okay; nothing more or nothing less. Its melody is stronger than some other songs, though, which is always a plus.

It seems quite appropriate that the title of the closer is "It Hangs over Me"; it's a title which characterizes a lot of the sonic traits and touches used. The album hangs and floats over you -- enjoying it while it is here but not really remembering every second afterwards.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Books

Horrors in the Closet: A Closet Full of Monsters

A closet full of monsters is a scary place where "straight people" can safely negotiate and articulate their fascination and/or dread of "difference" in sexuality.

Music

'Wildflowers & All the Rest' Is Tom Petty's Masterpiece

Wildflowers is a masterpiece because Tom Petty was a good enough songwriter by that point to communicate exactly what was on his mind in the most devastating way possible.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s: 100-81

PopMatters' best albums of the 2000s begin with a series of records that span epic metal, ornate indie folk, and a terrifying work of electronic music.

Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.