Cap'n Jazz
Shmap'n Shmazz



by dimsim3478 USER (29 Reviews)
April 8th, 2014 | 5 replies

Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The cacophonous collision of a collective musical prodigy and raw punk spirit.

I find myself unable to agree with the seemingly unyielding need to call Cap’n Jazz an immature band. Indeed, the band’s spirit is youthful, but to call them “immature” is frankly insulting. Shmap’n Shmazz, aesthetically, comes from a place of energy, earnestness, and childhood for sure, but even in 1995--Tim Kinsella aged 20--there was an unbelievable amount of musical sophistication in the fivesome that was Cap’n Jazz. For a start, any band that could play this sloppily and yet cohere tightly enough to masterfully wield tension and groove is a sophisticated instrumental unit, owing not only to the reactive rhythm section of Sam Zurick and Mike Kinsella but also to the simultaneously rhythmic and melodic guitar interplay of Victor Villarreal and Davey von Bohlen. Secondly, past any sort of ridiculousness and casual amateurism on this record is, undoubtedly, composition: notable moments of utter genius include the red herring climaxes on “Basil’s Kite”; the in-and-out drifting of guitar, piano, and vocals on “Bluegrassish”; and the insane shifts of groove and mood on closer “Que suerte”. Tim Kinsella all the while howls fever dreams into your ear, screaming some sort of urgent truth that only he can comprehend. I’ve said of the latest Owls record that I often find myself listening only to the band as a single unit--rarely just vocals or guitars or drums or bass--but in returning to Shmap’n Shmazz, I can often hear the same cohesion even as far back as this, only with the quality of youth and excessive heart-pouring imbuing and enhancing this record into something truly remarkable. Make no mistake, even though Cap’n Jazz may sometimes sound like one big wall of noise coming from five teenagers with practice amps in a garage, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t completely brilliant.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
April 8th 2014


been listening to this heaps lately

April 8th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

love it, pos'd

Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Great review man. I don't seem to like this as much as you but this is still excellent. It's just a little to rough around the edges for me.

Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

i would like to pos your existence mcAdoo ;) GREAT REVIEW btw, i love these analytical pieces that go beyond the album and into the way it's received and interpreted. looking forward to reading more ))))

Digging: Yung Lean - Frost God

April 8th 2014


hey thanks for reading guys!

anyway yeah Wines I'm big on getting right down to what an album meaaaans and all that stuff (as an artwork AND to the listener) because i think offering an analytical perspective is more valuable than just telling people what they're hearing as music reviews traditionally do

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