Capillary Action – So Embarrassing (Pangaea Recordings) 2008

Lets get to the point and address the elephant in the room shall we. This is the most horrendous record art work I’ve seen for some time. When this arrived in the post this week I was pretty dubious about it but if there was ever a case where you shouldn’t judge a record by its cover then So Embarrassing would be it.

The music is some of the oddest, yet somehow strangely accessible, tunes I’ve heard for some time. I’ve listened to this pretty solidly since I’ve got it and I’ll be fucked if I can explain it properly. Think of the effortless cool of the Walker Brothers, then bash the crap out of it with the occasional screamo moment, mix it all up with some Moha type spazziness and there you have it, Capillary Action in all their glory. This is extremely compelling avant pop. The most over-riding reference point I can think of is Shudder to Think and in particular their Pony Express record.

So Embarrassing is basically a suite of music. All of the tracks concentrate around the same musical theme, the psychopatic lounge singer who is off his meds. Capillary Action is the brainchild of Jonathon Pfieffer who wrote all the songs and is also responsible for the aforementioned art work. The music itself is boosted by a string and horn section which fleshes out the tracks to make a strangely lush sounding record. I’m pretty impressed with the whole thing. If you have any interest in a big band Xiu Xiu or clever avant pop music then this may be the record for you. It certainly hit the spot for me.

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