Capital Punishment

Captured Tracks, 2018

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Ben Stiller’s high school experimental band was a bit different than I was expecting. I was thinking it’d be more like a regular late ‘70s/early ‘80s punk band, but this noisy experiment is more than interesting, although not in a good way.

The opening track “Necronomicon” is a sound collage of the weirdest sort. It’s too bizarre to even work properly. If you were expecting a normal song, then prepare to be deeply disappointed and a bit pissed off. The album’s title track has a bit of a Talking Heads/Devo feel to it, but again, it’s another weird sound collage. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Confusion” is the first real song here. But even still, it’s not that great and leaves the listener wondering what the hell is going on. This is a record that stands as a curiosity only, nothing more. It really is nothing than a bunch of high school kids, including a future judge, professor, and world famous actor dicking around with instrumentation and probably a friend’s four track recorder. If I really wanted to enjoy four track juvenilia, I’d just pick up some Happy Flowers and go on my way; at least they were entertaining.

Anyone looking to get anything great out of this record will be sorely disappointed. This is just a random curio that some record label decided needed to be released. I don’t know why they did because it’s very dull and not especially exciting at all. It’s definitely not an enjoyable listening experience unless one is into the seedier side of Zappa or Captain Beefheart. Only one song, recorded in 1979 (“Waiting To See You”) sounds like anything interesting, like a Lou Reed outtake. Best part is: there are words! That can be heard!

To me, this is the sort of thing that Pitchfork or some other indie hipster blog would hype the hell out of, as if it’s some sort of musical holy grail that needs to be heard and discovered, but sadly, it is not. It is just a high school piece of crap that’s one of the most boring things I’ve heard all year.

Rating: D-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Captured Tracks, and is used for informational purposes only.