Things Past

George & Caplin

Beta-lactam Ring Records, 2006

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


There is no doubt that George & Caplin has a very unique and even genre-defying sound. But the debut Electronic Eulogy (From Morse Code Infinity), somehow wasn’t up to what the band is actually capable of. The record was brilliant in places but was also patchy at the same time, with too many mediocre numbers. The style was unique but the music just didn’t have the edge that the minimalist, subtly complex style demanded from it. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Things are different with the follow-up Things Past. This is a much more mature record, and more importantly, much more cohesive. With Electronic Eulogy, the band kept switching back and forth between their natural lo-fi minimalist music and wasteful blandness that is not even the band’s style. But with Things Past, the band has stuck to its own gig and not compromised its awkwardness.

The instrumentals, something that are present in huge amounts in both G&C records, are more like a part of a continuous flow of songs on this album than the random sound-bytes on Electronic Eulogy that were simply ill-fitting space fillers. “Outskirts Of Combray,” the opening cut, creates a beautiful psychedelic soundscape that actually sounds interesting. “Stationwagon Sleepingbag” is also a nice spaced-out instrumental that is weird, and this weirdness is necessary to keep the edge on the band’s otherwise stripped-down music. 

G&C has improved a lot on production and song structure. Though the music on Things Past is still quite simplified, it has subtle layers and undertones that were mostly absent on its predecessors. “Fields Talk,” – G&C’s best track ever – for example, starts off with bare-bone guitars that seem recorded and played through an analog tape and builds up layers that include a piano, a beat, and a few other sound-effects that still lurk well within the background, subtly giving a flavor to the guitar tune without themselves becoming the focal point.


Nothing much has changed with G&C since its debut in terms of its creativity. But the way the band has handled its sound on Things Past makes it a much better record than Electronic Eulogy. Though not as good as it should be, the debut showed a lot of future promise in the band. With the follow up, the band has delivered. This album truly shows the potential of this great act.

Rating: A-

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© 2006 Vish Iyer 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 Beta-lactam Ring Records, and is used for informational purposes only.