Alright the Captain are three badgers from Northern Ireland, Birmingham and Ilkeston who met randomly in the East Midlands, found that they had a shared love for bands like Hella, Holy Fuck,Squarepusher and Primus and decided to make their own loud experimental math-rock together.
They have spent their time constantly touring the UK,Ireland and Europe, as well as self-releasing a couple of EP’s before joining Field records, their most recent “123.EP” was picked up and released in Japan by Linus records . The lads have also played with bands such as Mono, Zu, Holy Fuck, Ungdomskulen, ASIWYFA and Maybeshewill and many,many,more.
They’ve received various BBC radio plays and recorded acoustic sessions for BBC introducing and Balcony TV as well as featuring in forthcoming independent films by Beat24 and I’m Not from London.
DIY ethics are something these boys are used to with Marty and Ash both running their own DIY nights (bUTTONpUSHER and Creative Block(s)) and all the bands artwork/design being done in-house by Todd.
They will be touring the UK, Ireland and Europe again relentlessly in 2011 and are always looking for more shows so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
SNIB was recorded and produced by Tim Waterfield in Dub:rek, Derby and at the Field Records in-house Studio in Southampton and will be released on Field Records on 7th Feb 2011
After threatening greatness in their live shows over the past 12 months, Alright The Captain have been burrowed away writing and recording their long overdue debut full-length. The result is Snib, featuring ten tracks of technical math-rock to set pulses' racing from the get-go.
Forming the band's first assault is Rostov Could Get It, which tumbles through the speakers with an electronic crash. The urgent intro reveals a newfound aggression for the band, whose previous recordings cower in the wake of this spanking new track. The three instruments roar into action, frantic yet steadfast, before giving way to more textural compositions that existing fans will be familiar with. If you're a new listener, this will be your first lesson into the curious ways of the 'Captain - their experimental approach to songwriting means multiple personalities make an appearance, and it's usual to see several per song. But don't go cracking the medication out yet, as this is what make's the band so exciting.
Lucid moments often trade places with uncompromising urgency, turning on you like a nasty dog. Mega Mega Drive does this down to a T, as it threatens to get going for a minute or so before the beast is unleashed - the result is a belligerent assault to grab you by the core and shake you silly. Or listen to the frantic beginnings of Soundtrack Your Death - guitarist Marty Toner's quick-fingered action combines with Todd Wood's bouncy bass notes, before pulling a u-turn. And it's all usually done in three and a half minutes work.
FX and loop pedals serve to feed Alright The Captain's imaginations, allowing them to get the best out of their erratic tendencies and monstrous appetite for writing experimental rock tunes. Their knack for writing highly textural compositions is impressive, and their skills will surely have you listening in awe - whether it be Toner's inquisitive intro to Neo Toyko, where he exercises his digits with some stellar finger tapping or the incredible drum action delivered by stick-master Ash West-Mullen in #33. But it's not all urgent intricacies and bubbling aggression, Alright The Captain know how to reign it back too; the ethereal outro to Pay Off and the general laid-back nature of Clamp show just this. They contrast the harsh, abrasive moments with gentler strands in their songwriting, bringing in eclectic influences that hypnotise - quite simply, they manage to evoke the whole spectrum of emotions with their music.
Snib really demonstrates how the band has evolved since their 123.EP. They've taken their sci-fi infused sound to a whole new level - it's more aggressive than ever, more evocative than before and shows a reignited passion from all concerned. Armed only with their instruments, equipment and the occasional cry of 'Honey Badger! Honey Badger!', Alright The Captain have really come into their own. If you're looking to broaden your musical horizons, Snib is essential listening.
The verdict: 9/10
Alright the Captain are due to release their debut album 'SNIB' early next month and I'm glad to be able to offer you my incites on the first listen to this slab of genius, which is exactly what it is. The band tour the U.K. at the end of February but currently there's no date in Glasgow so I intend to write very nice things in order to entice a show up here in the cold Scottish air. Before I talk about the music itself, it's worth pointing out the brilliant album cover with it's wolves and skulls looking like a piece of complex graffiti. Bravo on that one boys. There is so much going on in this album that it's difficult to talk about absolutely everything without playing down how brilliantly conceived and pieced together it all is. SNIB draws a lot of comparisons to bands spanning a wide range of genres but as a body of work it's completely original, and quite honestly you've never heard anything like it.
The album features heavily a lot of time signature changes that keep it interesting and it demonstrates an incredible technical ability from each musician. Take track number two, 'Neo Tokyo' which opens with a weaving guitar sound which is then joined by an equally impressive bass line, it draws a lot of comparison to Battles (see also track 6, Pay Off if you're a fan of that band) but not for long, as the track decides to get heavy and punches you in the face with it's heavy outro that reminds me of math rock maniacs Sikth. This carries through onto the next track 'Mega Mega Drive' which is a perfect example of the band's ability to fit melodic passages between stabs of Metal and distortion. Speaking of Metal, check out penultimate track which opens with someone yelling "HONEY BADGER HONEY BADGER!" incidentally the title of the song. It's absolutely manic.
The brilliant 'Soundtrack to your Death' is very much a post-rock track which will be familiar to fans of Mogwai. But it still manages to display frantic guitar work and quite frankly, stunning drum work. 'Guilt' the fourth track on the album is the stand out for me, which calls to mind one of my favourite albums 'Spiderland' by Slint, (without the stream of consciousness babbling poetry) it's quiet sound builds a fantastic atmosphere before giving way to the inevitable heavy climax. To talk about one highlight is a disservice to the album as it's full of them. From track one to ten, SNIB is a display of technical proficiency, electronic manipulation, full on noise and precise percussion.
It really has to be heard and with every listen you find something else to appreciate. As said before with so many influences of great bands the album will strike a chord with a lot of different fans of different music, and that really isn't a bad thing. Music snobs get off your high horse and add some chaos to your music catalogue, let 'Alright the Captain' show you what they can do.