Capstan Shafts
"Her Chapbook Called ‘Tiny Grey Radio’"

(Ladder the Christmas Monkey Records 2004)

With rough vocals and a style reminiscent of Bob Dylan, the Capstan Shafts' "Her Chapbook Called 'Tiny Grey Radio'" is a quick and to the point EP of seven tracks that are a mixture of hippie and folk poetry. With fuzzy, lo-fi recordings, "Her Chapbook Called 'Tiny Grey Radio'" races to a finish in just over ten minutes with comfortably rambling folk tunes that seem to be in no rush.

The guitar and vocals combination is the heart of all of the songs on "Her Chapbook Called "˜Tiny Grey Radio.'" More stripped down songs, like "Perfect Bound Someday," "Tulipsqueaking" and "She Reads Easy," work well with their understated simplicity and folk style. Elsewhere, melodies drive "Upstairs with 'The Anti-Christ'" and "Gift of Higher Asperations" as cymbal crashes awkwardly hiss on the lo-fi recording. The two aspects of the Capstan Shafts blend together nicely for "Pome on Pg. 14," a full, rhythmic melody mixed with earnest lyrics. "You don't dig me and that's just fine," a male voice sings on the light folk rock of "Scripted Ass Collisions" before a whistling solo takes the song out.

The Capstan Shafts clearly have some notable ideas, despite a less than focused and clean creation. "Her Chapbook Called 'Tiny Grey Radio'" is a nice, albeit somewhat confusing, introduction into their musical world. With enough hops, skips and jumps to send your head whirling with their exceedingly short tunes, the Capstan Shafts turn their sometimes uncomfortably lo-fi recordings into character builders and their sing song tunes into thoughtful and endearing tracks.

C+