If I were to tell you that a band of NYC teenagers who met in 1979 decided to form a band influenced by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Eno, Chrome and all sorts of proto-industrial music, it would be enough to pique your interest. If you learned they went to the lengths of recording an album while in high school without a label or distribution and actually pressed a couple hundred copies, even weirder. Now those records sell for hundreds of dollars on the collector’s market, which perhaps isn’t unusual for such a rare record. You would expect the unlikely story of Capital Punishment’s Roadkill to end there—which would be cool enough. Except it doesn’t.
When you find out the band consisted of a future Supreme Court Justice for Arizona, a Professor of Slavic Studies, a Musician/Documentarian whose family built the Brooklyn Bridge, and an A-list world-famous actor the story goes from being about another rare, privately pressed recording that’s been re-discovered, into something that’s pretty incredible.
Beyond whatever curiosity the membership entails, this record is an incredible example of the kind of home-spun, DIY post-punk that spaghetti-stained, bearded and/or balding collector scum drool over at dimly lit ego-stroking record fairs. “Delta Time” is a post-punk anthem, written on a lark, with a tongue-in-cheek British accent that sounds like if Television Personalities decided to become kind of scary. “Confusion” is an industrial psychedelic standout, with an eerie synth-lead verse that segues into a glam-rock chorus straight out of the Mick Ronson playbook. “Muzak Anonymous” is Beefheart-ian, Gong-afied freak-funk that needs to be heard to be believed.
Captured Tracks is thrilled to announce the remastered reissue of Capital Punishment’s 1982 sole LP Roadkill. For a band of high school weirdos who actually got their shit together enough to make a completely uncommercial album with no means to sell it and still “release” it shows a lot of determination, persistence and perhaps insanity. But it’s always those kinds of weirdos who go on to do great things – just ask Judge Peter Swann, Professor Peter Zusi, Kriss Roebling and Ben Stiller.