Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive - 2006
Running Time: 47:57
Capricorns have been knocking around the UK for just over the past two years, playing shows with Melvins, Pelican, Unsane, and the godly Jesu. Capricorns have been compared to the likes of both crustcore greats and psychedelic overlords, whose names shall remain untold for the purpose of this review. Suffice it to say, if the comparisons were less than accurate, Capricorns would also be a load of shit.
Fortunately, this is not the case. I could mention the names of the bands from whence the members of Capricorns sprang, but what's the point, really? It would only serve to dilute the effect this stellar album will have on the listener willing to approach this first full-length release with open ears. '1977: Blood For Papa' is a Chevy Econoline burning nitrous down the highway, spilling cheap beer and crude oil out the back doors, with Blue Cheer's Vincibus Eruptum blaring from the speaker situated behind the grill. The beginning of '1969: A Predator Among Us' languidly flows into fractal shoegazer metal ala Nudeswirl, returning to the introductory theme before the gradual build of the finale, climaxing like Caligula throwing an orgy at the AmRep headquarters. Vocals figure minimally into the conjurations of Capricorns, but the contributions of Oxbow's Eugene Robinson to 'The First Broken Promise' are as abrasive as they are disconcerting, turning what would otherwise be a psyllocibin-fuelled skronk-rock rambling into a whirling vortex of dementia. Not that all is artsy and scattered here, '1440: Exit Wargasmatron' being a pretty much straight ahead pummeling of the instruments and eardrums. A welcome respite after the freneticism of '...Broken Promise', to be sure. The hysterically-titled '1066: Born On The Bayeux' resurrects with equal passion the ghosts of Quicksand and Season To Risk (albeit sans vocals). A song clocking in at over twelve minutes in the hands of a lesser band would be unwieldy at best, and pure crap at the worst. Capricorns carries the weight well, shifting between throb and pound with equal precision, on into the tidal wash of '1046: The Last Renaissance Man'. '793AD: The Harrying Of The Heathen' concludes the album, slapping a coat of Isis brand primer over the rusted hulk of the Chevy from '1977: Blood...', and sending the whole mess careening off the musical precipice, and into the ocean below.
It's rare that an album this dense can still manage to be expansive. This isn't background noise. This is the music of the insane, and - in the case of Ruder Forms Survive - Capricorns haven't only taken over the asylum. They've burnt the fucker to the ground, and are holding pagan rituals in the ashes.