Spiral – The Capital in Ruins

Spiral – The Capital in Ruins

Spiral is a band from Albuquerque, New Mexico who’ve just released their debut album The Capital in Ruins. It’s just Chris Boat and Aaron Frale, though the album does feature several other guest musicians. It’s an ambitious first outing. More than 72 minutes long, it’s a concept album that’s a sci-fi update of the Rip Van Winkle story, morphed here into the story of a scientist that creates a nano-machine plague that wipes out all of humanity except for himself.

Musically, the album is certainly prog by any definition, but more modern prog than retro. Though the only influence they cite on their web site is Pink Floyd (and I can certainly hear this, particularly in the guitar soloing and some dogs barking that are very reminiscent of Animals), I’d say their sound more closely resembles a cross between Van der Graaf Generator and Porcupine Tree with a dash of Hawkwind and Pure Reason Revolution.

The production is a bit “garage band”-ish, and the vocals aren’t the most trained you’ll ever hear, but not bad, especially when they’re overdubbed to make harmonies. For my tastes, I’d like to hear a bit more in the way of keyboards. The textures are a bit sparse for me. On the other hand, they’re trying to impart the feeling of loneliness felt by the last man on earth, doomed by his own invention to an immortality filled with solitude. All things considered, this is an amazing piece of work. Good enough to get it on the GEPR‘s front page as an “Editor’s Choice” pick. And since, for the time being at least, they’re offering this album for free on their Bandcamp page, it’s pretty hard to beat. Better get over there and check it out (and get your copy!) fast before they change their minds!

Oh, and guys … sorry for being a Spelling Nazi, but … it’s “Capitol”, unless you’re talking about CAPITAL letters or investment capital. Never mind. Maybe Rip can’t spell. — Fred Trafton

Click here for Spiral‘s Bandcamp page, where you can download The Capital in Ruins for free. For now.
Click here for Spiral‘s MySpace page

5 Responses to “Spiral – The Capital in Ruins”

  1. aaronfrale Says:

    We just wanted to stop by and say thank you for your thorough review of the record. You are our first review and we are honored that “Capital” made editor’s pick. This album took a lot of time to make and hearing positive reviews make the whole process worthwhile. We are already starting to see traffic on Bandcamp coming from your page. Hopefully, we will send you a few new readers.

    We get 200 free downloads per month from Bandcamp and we intend to use all of them. If the free downloads run out then we will have to charge, but we intend to set a low price with the option to donate more if people feel the music is worth it.

    Concerning the spelling of “Capital”, it was our understanding that “capital” refers to any countries’ seat of government whereas “capitol” refers to The United States seat of government. We poked around and this seems to be the case. Of course if we were using the generic “capital”, we probably should have called it “A Capital in Ruins” rather than “The Capital in Ruins”. But “The Capital” just sounded better. I have to say, this explanation is the most thought we’ve given our title!

    Seriously, we can’t thank you enough for this review. You’ve made our month!

  2. gibraltarepr Says:

    You’re welcome.

    FYI, see: http://www.50states.com/tools/use.htm

    If it’s spelled “capitol”, it’s anybody’s capitol. If Capitol is capital (eek!), then it’s the U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C. If it’s “capital”, there are a number of other definitions, as explained in the link.

    Gosh, I feel so English-teacher-ish.

  3. Chris Boat Says:

    Hello, this is Chris Boat from Spiral. Sorry to be such a stickler on this.

    This is copied from the website you linked to. Part B of the third definition states that the word capital is: being the seat of government, which was how we meant the word.

    Main Entry: capital
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Latin capitalis, from capit-, caput
    Date: 14th century
    1 of a letter : of or conforming to the series A, B, C, etc. rather than a, b, c, etc.
    2 a : punishable by death {a capital crime} b : involving execution {capital punishment} c : most serious {a capital error}
    3 a : chief in importance or influence {capital ships} {the capital importance of criticism in the work of creation itself — T. S. Eliot}
    b : being the seat of government
    4 : of or relating to capital; especially : relating to or being assets that add to the long-term net worth of a corporation {capital improvements}
    5 : EXCELLENT {a capital book}

    Source: © 2000 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

  4. gibraltarepr Says:

    OK, you win. My grade school English teacher was wrong. But you’ve got to admit, even with the definitions we’ve both quoted, it’s open for debate. But I’m not going to argue with Merriam and Webster. Just say that Rip is from France (or anywhere other than the USA), and I guess the spelling is OK.

  5. Chris Boat Says:

    It is definitely a debatable issue (and I love a good debate)! Actually, Rip is not from Earth. His is from a smaller planet in a dark corner of the galaxy. This will be important for our next album, which we are working on now!

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