One-man-band Dean Wells, a.k.a. the Capstan Shafts, writes lo-fi, bedroom-produced indie-pop nuggets often shorter than TV commercials, with distorted guitar, goofy puns for song titles (“Right on the Malthus” and “Vegans and Meteors”) and stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Wells’ most evident influence is Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices: Wells paraphrases Pollard’s sub-basement obscurantism, Anglo-pop (they seem to share the same faux-Brit voice) and inoffensively hook-filled tunes.
Environ Maiden’s concise 29 tracks clock in at under 40 minutes, which gives some pieces an unfinished sheen. But beneath the under-production there’s notable presence. For every undeveloped idea, there are trenchant tunes like indie rocker “My Family Was Welsh, I’m Just Tired” and enigmatic foray “Oil Over Greenland!”
Environ Maiden is currently available.