Album Review: Capgun Coup’s Contextual Doom…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , , — @ 1:08 pm April 4, 2012
Capgun Coup

Get ready for Contextual Doom.

by Tim McMahan,

It is with utter dissapointment that I fell asleep before heading out to The Waiting Room last night for the Antiquarium Subversion Showcase and seeing Capgun Coup. Though I can’t comment on their performance, I will say this about CC’s new album, Contextual Doom: It sounds like frontman/CC mastermind Sam Martin had an epiphany involving early Velvet Underground. The album, slated for release next month by ORG Music, has the same looking-through-a-dirty-window-on-the-Lower-East-Side feeling associated with, say, the VU & Nico album.

Half of the record involves laid-back “Sunday Morning” guitar riffs, tom-and-tambourine percussion and Martin’s own flat, seen-it-all-before vicodine-infused vocal delivery. It doesn’t get more slacker than on “My Bordumb Is Bored,” where Martin mumbles, seemingly with half-closed eyes, “I’m high as the ocean and my mind is commotion all my thoughts are unspoken and my heart it is broken…” The other half is garage ravers like “Claire Doesn’t Care,” which props up Martin’s lethargy like a dancing, twitching corpse. But even pumped up mothers like “Laugh/Cry” have a Velvet overlap — if you slowed the song by about 50 bpm you’d get something akin to “Heroin,” but with the lyrics, “Don’t it feel so good inside to have a good reason to cry? All your tears will dry.”

Martin is a musical enigma. He’s not so much Omaha’s version of Lou Reed as much as Omaha’s own Anton Newcombe — as unpredictable as he is talented, out there as much as out of control. And Capgun Coup is one of those bands that has a different life on vinyl than it has on stage. Their recordings (and no more than this one) are showcases for intelligent garage rock songwriting that nods knowingly toward the past while defining a better, if not slumped-shouldered, future. On stage, Capgun Coup is unpredictable — you never know what you’re going to get from gig to gig, which can vary from a taut, high-energy rock show to an extended, off-kilter caterwaul careening out of control. Whether triumphant or disappointing, they’re never boring. And neither is Martin, or for that matter, this album.

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For those keeping score at home, my latest column is in print and online right here at and centers on the life and death disappointments of Game of Thrones. Check it.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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