Capgun Coup - Brought To You By Nebraskafish
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Capgun Coup
Brought To You By Nebraskafish

A quintet based in Omaha, Nebraska, Capgun Coup was name-dropped about a half year ago by Conor Oberst as his favorite current band of the moment, and now here they are with their debut being put out by his now three year-old record label (which has released everything from the syrupy sweet tap-pop of Tilly And The Wall to the excellent post rock of Berg Sans Nipple). Apparently, Capgun Coup started out as a power trio playing white-noise laden rock, but added a couple members after a move across town and veered much closer to pop music.

The oddly-titled Brought To You By Nebraskafish sounds like a bit of a throwback debut of sorts. It's a heck of a mess just about all the time, with wildly-varying production values, abrupt style changes, and a hodge-podge of sounds that are the sound of a group just getting their feet wet while making a racket in the basement with nods to all their favorite styles. "JFK's Eggnog" opens the album with a minute-long sample of said dead president before mixing right into the guitar and vocals ditty of "Oh, My Mod," which sounds fairly close to coffee-house fodder until it flips towards the end and moves into tinny beatbox/television sample land.

And really, that's about how the album continues. "Social Security Number" is all muffled drums, screaming, and raggedy guitars that sound like a homage to Pavement (that is, until it veers into an accordion and hand-percussion finale) while "Fucked" is sort of a country-twang tinged pop track and "Time" somehow rambles for nearly six aimless minutes of keyboard-laced lounge strumming (yes, before another closing section of melodica, bells, and slurry vocals).

In places, they stumble onto a sort of ragged-edged frantic pop that calls to mind the infectious free-for-all that The Unicorns ripped loose on Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone. "A Liar in Texas in a Green Room in Memphis," "Un Huh," and "Huck Finn" all capture a great nervous energy and shout-along factor that's hard to deny, and even during some of the more standard-sounding moments the group sounds like they're a bit of editing away from something a little better. With fifteen songs running almost an hour in length, though, it's more often simply sloppy than invigorating, with enough needless track tag-ons and changes that they eventually just wear out their welcome. There's a lot of rough charm to be found on this debut, but here's hoping they refine things a lot more before their next album.

rating: 5.7510
Aaron Coleman 2007-11-01 18:56:55