“One of the most important things, to me, about the label, is that they really take risks. It’s not, like, ‘This band is gonna get blogged about’, or ‘This band will sell a ton.’ They’ve gone to a few shows by bands they thought were good enough, and recognised both the professionalism and the commercial appeal, but if they’re not that into it, they don’t feel it. And I feel that’s real integrity, y’know? I mean you look at early Rough Trade, and I feel that they were doing the exact same thing – they were taking risks.”
That’s Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils’ take on the purity of NYC indie Captured Tracks, and although he may be somewhat partisan, you can’t help but empathise with his every word. Mike Sniper et al. have recently snared Athens’ Ben Asbury, who masquerades musically as the rather more troublesome Axxa/Abraxas, but even from a cursory run-through of the woozy I Almost Fell, there are no obstacles nor oblong punctuation marks preventing you from getting to the pure euphoria Axbury peddles. For this is psych-pop at its sprightly finest, and yet you sense this to be Sniper taking something of a punt. Yes, the usual array of jangly guitars are in place for this particular remaster, abetted by a typically aloof vocal delivery, but it’s that bit more glamorous; glitzy, even, than the given aesthetic we’ve become acclimatised to primarily over these past few years. “Who’s to say we’re here at all?” Axbury quizzes, although whether or not he may be a stab in the dark, I Almost Fell is the quite incontrovertible sound of definitive arrival.