Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Hit ‘n’ Miss” by Capsula from the 2011 album In The Land Of Silver Souls on BCore Disc.
For me, Capsula’s 2009 album, Rising Mountains, was like a breath of fresh air and a throwback to late 70’s rock at the very same time. I won’t lie: I heard it first on one of those websites where you’re not supposed to go and that are said to be contributing to the demise of the music industry. Otherwise, though, I might never have heard of this trio out of Bilbao. For years — since 1997 — the band, comprised of Coni Duchess (bass & vocals), Martin Guevara (guitar & vocals), and more recently Ignacio “Nacho” Villarejo (drums), had been working hard, releasing albums in first their native Buenos Aires and later in their adopted home of Bilbao, Spain. Like hundreds of other bands, they tried to get noticed in the U.S. by attending SXSW in 2008 and 2009. Yet despite having won the heart of notable Rolling Stone writer David Fricke, Rising Mountains saw no distribution in the U.S. But what an amazing album it is. From among the hundred or so albums I heard that year, it stood out as my number one pick. Beyond its mix of explosive American punk rock that germinated in the dive bars like CBGB in New York and swirling psychedelia that has fueled newer bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, the album is full of memorable and dynamic songs. Upon hearing it, our Music Director, Don Yates, immediately added to our heavy rotation.
And now, Capsula have outdone themselves again. In The Land Of Silver Souls, their second full-length available only through the excellent Spanish label BCore Disc, is in Don’s own words “even better than their explosive last record, combining loud, crunchy guitars and a pummeling rhythm section on a variety of fiery songs incorporating Sonic Youth noise-rock, high-energy garage and blistering psych-rock.” Today’s featured song is an easy first single. While some of the other songs have a more dynamic buildup, “Hit ‘n’ Miss,” starts with a Clash-like opening riff and never lets up. As Martin wails and slides, Nacho pounds the living jeezus out of his kit, and Coni entices with her backing vocals, you’re riding on high octane all the way though. Mixed and produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., The Hold Steady) at Headgear Studios in Brooklyn, the album is through and through a masterful dark, seductive delight.
Hopefully, we in the U.S. will soon get another chance to see Capsula live. Coni, Martin and Nacho are stunning performers. In particular, Martin’s stage theatrics — from practically swallowing the mic like a reanimated Lux Interior to running the fretboard of his guitar on pretty much anything including onstage amps, bar countertops and even KEXP contributing photographer Jim Bennett’s camera lens — are not to be missed. This month, they are performing select shows in Spain, such as the David Bowie tribute, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” this Thursday in Bilbao. If you happen to be over there, or want to see what else is going on with the band, head over to their website and MySpace page, where you can also listen to more of their music. For now, here they are performing “Still In the Way” and “Magnetic Brain” while in the KEXP studio last October: