The Capstan Shafts
In the intervening years since Guided By Voices' release of their seminal, epic ode to lo-fi attention deficiency, Bee Thousand, no one's really capitalized on its promise of myriad hooks, 30-second songs and 4-track non-production nearly as well as Environ Maiden. Coming in at 29 tracks and barely 37 minutes, The Capstan Shafts (aka reclusive songwriter Dean Wells) throws together tinny, careening British Invasion pop and exhaust-pipe burnt garage rock together, rips out stunted riffs and fractured melodies and calls them songs. There's barely any time to revel in any particular song before it's segued into the sweaty, shambling confines of the next. Taken separately or all together, these songs are like fleeting half-remembered daydreams of nostalgia and romanticism of youth. Check out The Replacements-isms of "The Complete History of Greenland," the comparatively slow melancholia on "Northern Me!" or super-fuzz rings of "Girl to Scoff World's Ills" and nearly the whole gamut of this disc's emotion has been covered in less than five minutes. As anachronistic as it might be, this album is full-blooded perfection and more than enough to take the wind out of any ProTools addict's sails.