Quick Hitters:: David Picco & Capillary Action

If I had to pull one word from the intro to blogging handbook to describe Newfoundland ex-pat David Picco, it would be natural. I don’t mean that in a “knock the cover off the ball in a rain storm, Robert Redford” kind of way, because nothing about Picco’s song writing or vocals is the result of god-given talent. No, his subject matter and honest melodies are hard earned, but they float along without resistance. He’s a showman, without resorting to showmanship.

 

David’s self-titled solo LP grew from loss and a return home to grieve. Without question, the 10-song affair is laced with sadness (the steel Christine Bougie adds to “Made It Easy” and the Kyp Harness cover, “True & Beautiful” is heartbreaking), but Picco makes the wise choice to frame his pain - a pain he delivers with a somber, but never broken voice - with warm, workmanlike arrangements. This record is a celebration of what was, not a tear-filled wake.

 

Knowing that Picco put his heart and soul into this record, I almost feel bad enjoying the sounds as much as I do. When an artist documents something life-changing, it can often alienate the listener but these live off the floor recordings are alive and inviting. That’s probably the best tribute Picco could ever offer to those no longer with us.

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MP3:: David Picco - Made it Easy
WEB:: http://myspace.com/davidpicco

These days, I write about non-Canadian bands as often as Russell Westbrook defers to Durant (seriously, why won’t he pass?), but I’ve long since been a big fan of the frantic transitions of the nomadic rock outfit, Capillary Action.

 

Fans of the glory years of Jade Tree will enjoy the fragmented mixture of melody, chaos, percussive stomps but with front man Jon Pfeffer trading in his electric for nylon strings, Capsized has a more tribal feel. The riveting “Feeding Frenzy” explodes into a percussive (stomps, blocks, hand claps) goulash flavored with chanting, group vocals and the end result somehow fits the band’s style perfectly, but could easily be slid into promos for the World Cup.

 

Not surprisingly, Capillary Action exists in moments. Big drums, horns and experimental movements blend together like experimental dance routine. You might not get it, you certainly won’t like it all (the cinematic strings that start “Brackish Love” give way to hard to digest burst of energy and weaken the surprising beauty of the intro) but without question, you the results wil consume and at times inspire you.

 

It must be said; everything about the band is better this time around. Pfeffer is more confident and adventurous and his new band is more than up to the daunting task of keeping up with his tangential explorations. Calling Capsized a tough listen isn’t accurate but it’s close considering the experience is as rewarding as often as it is challenging. Essentially, Capillary Action move to the poly-rhythmed beat of their own collection of drum collection. They are more than ok with that, and so am I.

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MP3:: Capillary Action - Feeding Fenzy
WEB:: http://capillaryaction.bandcamp.com/

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Tags: Capillary Action, David Picco

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 9:36 am and is filed under Canada, Music, Quick Hitters, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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