A short-lived experimental post-punk group from New York City, Capital Punishment formed in the late '70s while the bandmembers were high-school students.
The only album they recorded was 1982's Roadkill, a truly bizarre mixture of post-industrial synths, angular new wave, and unsettling sound collage. The album would've been entirely forgotten if it weren't for the fact that the band's drummer, Ben Stiller, would grow up to be a world-famous actor, comedian, and director.
First conceptualized by Kriss Roebling and Tony Converse in 1977, Capital Punishment consisted of Roebling, Stiller, Peter Zusi, and Peter Swann. Utilizing primitive electronics and tape loops along with guitars, percussion, and even an occasional sitar, the amateur musicians practiced in Roebling's apartment and recorded sessions in several New York studios with no intentions of creating anything commercially viable. Capital Punishment never performed live, and their only LP was 1982's Roadkill. The group broke up soon afterwards, and all of its members moved on to bigger and better things. Years later, Blank Dogs' Mike Sniper, then working as a used record buyer at the Academy Annex in Brooklyn, came across a copy of Capital Punishment's record and was blown away. Eventually he was able to track down the band's members, and Roadkill was reissued by Sniper's label, Captured Tracks, in 2018. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi