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CD: Select Captain - Pure Neon EP

Select Captain
Pure Neon EP

Morning 3:04 Here We Stand 3:18 Adamantine 3:11 Slow 3:35 Pure Neon 6:39

It’s been a long tiresome month. At first it was the Tuesday festivals with people juggling fire, hula-hooping with these glow-in-the dark ones, bands and DJ’s, hippies, Rastafarians, hipsters, new age people, and vendors selling their wares(I was along with the vendors). Then, it was the family coming back from overseas. Next, was(and still is) the ongoing medical crap from my surgery three years ago, my daughter starting school, my wife with her college, and now the help with both of their homework and problems. But, I’m pretty sure this EP will set me back in the right direction with my own writing. So, I’m starting the music and away I go.
Morning, doesn’t disappoint. A galloping acoustic guitar seems to be travelling down ghost tracks through patchwork fog. The Captain climbs aboard waving his headlamp, piercing the moonless night while the smokestack belches, the rails squeals, the crossties of the bridge harmonize, and the swamp boils, bubbling on toward the sun break.
Select Captain is the creation, or evolution of the 1950’ies beat poets following the traditions of what is now commonly referred to as Americana. It’s that niche that few dare attempt to step into because so many of the classic greats are categorized as such: Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, etc., all fit and truly developed this niche. Kristian Gaarskjær is the Select Captain. He is the singer, songwriter, and guitarist who is now taking on the further development of this new art form, and from what I am hearing now, he seems to be branching off to create a category of his own. The band is made up of Søren Vestergaard, Kasper Olsen, Johannes Gissel, Jonas Wegner. They are based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Here We Stand( and Nothing Ever Changes), the second track on this EP is driven by its lyrics and acoustic as well. This one is a bit slower and somewhat has a much more ominous sound with a vengeful message. Lyrically its darkness can be summed up by the refrain,
“ Once again we’re in trouble where we stand. You have messed it up again…”
Adamantine, picks up the pace as it takes the listener into the “wild west”. It sounds like the Captain has plugged in. This song has that western feel to it, the deep “Marlboro Man” cowboy kind. Halfway through the song it breaks into a slower rhythm in order to pierce through and take away the innocence if he has to. So far, this is a different type of song, a “Man in Black,” style song. I had to look up the definition of the title itself and it says, “1. utterly unyielding or firm in attitude or opinion. 2. too hard to cut, break, or pierce. 3. like a diamond in luster.” Just listening to this song over and over I love that break and how it picks back up.
Slow, is just as it is titled. I’ve listened to it numerous times and know it’s almost written as if a letter to someone. I haven’t quite figured out if it is a song to break up for good with someone that has been an on-again-off-again relationship, or if it is just one to say, “Let’s move beyond this constant game playing.” In either case, the song is an absolute beautiful addition to this EP, and a powerful one at that.
The title track, Pure Neon, really throws the Select Captain into an entirely differently realm. Sure you have the guitar and the drums but there is electronic mix. I could just picture seeing this in a club environment with laser projections, the fitting light spectacle and the right sound system/echo chamber style environment to take it all in and absorb it.
I really have to say this was really something I was not expecting. It was incredibly written, both lyrically and vocally it was dead on, and it was brilliantly produced.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International 

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