Capsula = Strokes + Hives

Steve Jobs would have loved this band. Capsula’s songs are perfect for any Apple product rollout: a quick burst, exhilarating and different — but not too different. Capsula sounds like a lot of other things you’ve heard by now, but in a way that’s hard to pin down. Not unlike Mr. Jobs’s revolution, Capsula is manufactured from a lot of parts made by other bands, in this case such high-energy acts as the Strokes or the Hives or the Vines, or the Who or Sonic Youth. “What we try to do is pick different sounds from different periods of time that we like,” Coni Duchess says by phone from somewhere on the road between Nashville and Atlanta. “We don’t belong to any particular scene.”

But the guitar in Capsula is superior, I think, considering that most American indie-rockers rarely solo. “Voices Underground,” by the way, finishes with a nice quote from Cheap Trick’s “She’s Tight.” I can see why Rolling Stone critic David Fricke jumped on the Capsula bandwagon so early: because they sound a lot like the American rock he cut his teeth on as a nascent reviewer 30 years ago.

Capsula is a trio originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and their name means capsule in English. They are Martin Guevara on vox and guitar, Duchess on bass, and a new drummer named Ricardo Camino Vega. Capsula members live in Spain now (“there’s a very interesting underground music scene there,” says Duchess) and have cranked out nine full-length CDs beginning with 1999’s Sublime. They say their influences come from the ’60s in the form of psychedelic rock, but as heard through a South American filter. Naturally, they were a hit at Austin’s Psych Fest, as well as South by Southwest, the annual music-industry showcase likewise based in Austin. The live show? Blistering, loud, and frisky, say friends who have seen it.

Past Event


  • Sunday, December 1, 2013, 8:30 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $8

The Wooly Bandits and Zero Zero also perform.

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