The Flux Capacitors
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The Flux Capacitors

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"Local CD of the Week: The Flux Capacitors' John Q. Brains-For-Arms"

One would think that aficionados of instrumental Surf music would be at least a little reluctant to anyone coming along and messing with the formula. Like Blues, there are expected features of Surf — reverb being the main one, I suppose — and, while there have been groups that play the music in funny costumes or with some kind of gimmick (like, “It’s Surf music … but about spaceships!”), very few have strayed from the blueprint. Sure, there is a charming purity to simple Blues and Surf music. But I want to hear what people can do without the constraints of expectation.

That’s why I was excited to get a copy of the debut CD from Cincinnati’s Flux Capacitors, John Q. Brains-For-Arms. The Capacitors perhaps don’t reinvent the Surf music wheel, but they certainly have deflated all of the air, painted some avant ornamentation on it and refilled it with laughing gas. If Sonic Youth would have been inspired by Dick Dale instead of, say, Glen Branca, this is what they would have sounded like.

That’s not to say the Surf music puzzle-pieces aren’t all there, nor that fans of the genre (well, open-minded ones) will be turned off by the band. The band members all have a clear knowledge of classic Surf and their chops reflect that. Lead guitarist Erik Stoll can whip out a wiry, reverb-drenched lick as good as anyone I’ve heard. And the rhythm section is more than adept at recreating that big-wave rumble.

But it’s when the band gets “weird” that things start getting really good. On “Better Get Used to These Bars, Kid,” the guitars are downright jazzy, with a circular figure serving as the spine of the song. But from there, the structure wanders like a boat lost at sea. As they explore different territory (harmonics, almost Prog-like licks, stop-start beats), they pull into a harbor of delicious guitar-noise, as feedback swells and swirls, sounding at times like an all-out air attack. To start from this sublime little jazzy riff and end up with something that sounds like it could have been left over from the Daydream Nation sessions — and to do it all engagingly — is a remarkable feat.

It’s these little surprises that make John Q. Brains-For-Arms an instrumental album to which you need to pay attention as you listen. On “The Flight of the Cat-Faced Bag” (seems having no lyrics gives license for deliriously surrealistic song titles), the band interjects impulsive shots of over-driven fuzz, seemingly from out of nowhere, before breaking down into a quiet section that really shows the tight interplay between the musicians. “Just 2001” is totally leftfield and one of the record’s more engaging tracks, with spacey synth noise sprinkled throughout. I can safely say it is the best “cover” of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” you will ever hear. Well, at least the most creative. The band meditates on the theme (best known from being featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey) like a group of Jazz musicians, doing to it what Coltrane did with “My Favorite Things” (that is, making it all their own and changing how you’ll look at that song forever).

I’ve run out of cheesy Surf metaphors, so let me just end by saying that Flux Capacitors have taken a musical genre seemingly set in stone and made it a Technicolor detonation of adventurous ideas, creative and deft chops and more than the occasional shot of humor.

The Capacitors host a CD release party for the new album on Friday at the Southgate House. Towhee and Southeast Engine also perform at the 10 p.m. show.

— Mike Breen
- CityBeat

"Music: Best Year Ever/ A Banner Year for the Greater Cincinnati music scene?"

The bar has been raised for the local music scene. Truly, it has been one of the best years ever, at least of the 16 or so that I have been covering music in Greater Cincinnati. I´m looking forward to 2008. But for now, let´s get nostalgic for 2007, shall we?

Below are CityBeat´s picks for the best locally crafted CDs that came out this year, with some excerpts from what we wrote back when the discs were released. Search for the full-length reviews, interviews and news on all of the artists mentioned.

· Flux Capacitors - John Q. Brains-For-Arms

The Capacitors perhaps don´t reinvent the Surf music wheel, but they certainly have deflated all of the air, painted some avant ornamentation on it and refilled it with laughing gas. If Sonic Youth would have been inspired by Dick Dale instead of, say, Glen Branca, this is what it would have sounded like. (MB)

For full article visit: - City Beat Magazine

"The 2007 CLOCMAs!"

The time has come, once again, for the annual CLOCMAs (Chris Lee Official Cincinnati Music Awards). 2007 is winding down, and we must praise those that deserve to be praised. The CLOCMAs do just that. So sit back, read it, enjoy it, talk about it with your pals and support your local artists. And remember, winning a CLOCMA is a highly prestigious honor so you bands or artists that win, enjoy the fame and fortune that comes along with being a CLOCMA winner. You are the few, the proud, the elite ¸ The CLOCMA Winners. Now on to the awards!!!

5. The ¨Let´s Groove to the Cool Wave Sounds of Some Surf Music ¨ CLOCMA goes to: THE FLUX CAPACITORS

This band is cool. This band is fun. This band rocks. Influenced by such artists as Dick Dale, Man Or Astro-Man and Devo, The Flux Capacitors built up a good local fan base during the year and continue to knock over crowds with their Surfness.

For full article visit: - City Beat Magazine


LP: John Q. Brains-For-Arms

Radio airplay on,
on 88.9 FM, Future Class X Radio Cincinnati,
on of Athens, OH

In Studio set also performed on Future Class X Radio 88.9 FM.

Available here:



Greatly influenced by Dick Dale and Man Or Astro-man?, The Flux Capacitors also have adopted the noise rock tendencies of groups such as Sonic Youth. Breaking into the Cincinnati scene in late 2006, The Flux Capacitors have continued to expand their fan-base and exposure by frequently playing well attended gigs throughout Greater Cincinnati. The release of their first LP, John Q. Brains-For-Arms, was met with a rave review from Cincinnati City Beat's music editor, Mike Breen, and an extremely successful release party in the legendary Southgate House Ballroom.