#NLSN005: CAPILLARY ACTION - CAPSIZED CD/DL (2011)
Capillary Action’s sophomore release. Recorded in the wilds of Minocqua, Wisconsin, it’s a rapacious beast of an album, absorbing Ives and Bartók, Brazilian work songs and Bulgarian choral music, UK grime and Philly soul. Songs about revenge, pan-generational apathy, innocence lost, urban violence, beating the proverbial dead horse, friendship, consumer psychology, voyeurism, “trouble in paradise,” break-ups, car accidents, and entitlement. Engineered by Robert Cheek and featuring the talents of Dan Sutherland (drums), Doug Stuart (bass), Julian Chin (accordion), John DeHaven (trumpet, ex-Bon Iver), and special guests. CD comes with a 16-page booklet printed on kraft paper stock.
We used to call what Pfeffer does math rock, but that’s not quite adequate to cover all the weird jazz elements the latest lineup of Capillary Action brings in, or the way he and the band tease listeners with bits of surprisingly poppy melody before yanking out the rug. - Pitchfork
"Capsized" is like a perplexing film that you have to (and want to) watch more than once. - Pop Matters
Capillary Action are not for the faint of heart. Starting off with a Bartok-inspired trumpet melody, the Action get serious groove with a frenetic Brazilian forró shuffle. Jonathan Pfeffer’s singing is better than on the first record; he’s simply more confident singing in an entirely full-throated manner to convey the paranoia, anger, absurdism and hope of the politically charged lyrics. Capillary Action have upped their game creating imaginative polyrhythms, which shift like tectonic plates throughout the course of a three-minute song. And when a groove locks in (which happens at least twice in different ways in a song), it’s mesmerizing. - Exclaim
An album perfectly demonstrating the chaos, pleasure, confusion, and amazement inherent in life. - Skyscraper
Shake Capillary Action before opening; you never know what might come out. - The Onion AV Club
Ferociously, hallucinatorily detailed, truly avant pop. There’s nobody quite like them. - Organ
#NLSN004: CAPILLARY ACTION - SO EMBARRASSING CD/DL (2008)
On Capillary Action’s debut full-length, two decades’ worth of strange and heartbreaking experiences converge via a brutal-prog take on orchestral pop. Recorded right off the JMZ in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. Songs about trust, jealousy, self-love, unrequited love, getting jumped, living in fear, insomnia, deadbeat dads, staying hydrated, puppy love, and dying alone. Engineered by Colin Marston and featuring the talents of Ricardo Lagomasino (drums), Spencer Russell (bass), Kevin McHugh (keyboards), Zach Crystal (percussion), and special guests.
"So Embarrassing" has the pacing of a brawl, with quiet moments to catch your breath followed by furious passages of pounding rhythm and dissonant swells. [There are] wicked rhythmic turns, hints of jazz, and mind-bending guitar runs but this time they’re all subordinated to songs [with] Pfeffer’s even, baritone vocals adding a strong melodic center for the listener. - Pitchfork
A gem of an album from a band that abides by a musical manifesto that is miles above and beyond the norm. - All About Jazz
Walks the line between good songwriting and good noise. - Tiny Mix Tapes
Call it “experimental rock” if you must, but So Embarrassing is way past the experimentation stage. Capillary Action knows exactly what it’s doing. - Prefix Mag
Capillary Action combine excellent jazz chops with punk energy, making complicated arrangements sound natural. Their greatest asset is their willingness to thrash on demand so that “So Embarrassing” never sounds like egghead music. And then there are the lyrics, which are highly personal, even painful accounts of high school experiences, sex, violence and fear that, when intelligible, give greater gravitas to the flow. - Exclaim
Natural Selection was founded in 2008 by itinerant musician and composer Jonathan Pfeffer (Capillary Action) to properly document and disseminate his work independent of typical music industry practices.
In the past, Natural Selection has collaborated with brilliant visual artists all across the world, including Demian Flores (Mexico), James Holland (UK), and Nevada Hill (Texas) to create eye-popping, mouth-watering releases that arrive in custom packages courtesy of Toronto’s Standard Form.
Visit CAPACT.COM for more information on Jonathan and Capillary Action.
Address all inquiries to capillaryaction [at] gmail [dot] com.
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