It’s ambitious, complex, convoluted, confusing and ridiculous, but Alright The Captain‘s new release Contact Fix offers a refreshing take on instrumental music in 2015.
Label: Self-released/Mountains Of Records
FFO: You Slut, Alpha Male Tea Party, Vessels, 65daysofstatic
Derby’s Alright The Captain are old. I mean, they’re not old, old – but they’ve definitely been around the block a few times. But that’s a good thing. Over the past five or so years, the trio have gigged, toured, recorded, promoted, marketed, crowdfunded, PR’d, networked, designed and distributed. They’ve worked as hard as a band possibly can in this day and age. And thankfully, they’re still around to see the benefits.
First off, for whatever reason, instrumental music isn’t weird anymore – at least not like it used to be anyway. Bands without vocalists used to freak people out. They used to confuse gig goers and make sound engineers reconsider the need for SM58’s. But fast forward to 2015, and apparently, we’re quite happy to be rid of lyrics, singing and all that shit. Yeah, fuck you McCartney, fuck you Billy Joel; fuck you poetry and feelings, and stuff that makes you think. We’re in 2015, we don’t think – we do what we want. We piss with the door open, we read Vice, we play Call Of Duty in our pants, we eat beef jerky and we write blogs about nerdy sub-genres. We listen to experimental instrumental math rock music at the fish counter in Waitrose. And guess what. We fucking love it.
Fortunately, for us though – you know, as a people – music can still be weird in 2015. Mainstream pop is getting more minimal, indie is getting darker and instrumental music is becoming more diverse, and well, more weird. And that’s where Alright The Captain come in.
Alright The Captain’s new record, Contact Fix, is, first and foremost, a unique record. It dives in and out of math rock, prog and post rock – but, at its heart, it’s different. In their 2nd full-length record, the band’s songwriting is brave. Not like, ‘let’s put four different time signatures into a thirty-second tap-fest influenced by quantum mechanics and subatomic particles’ brave, but more like, ‘some people might not like this, but we’re going to do it anyway’ sort of brave. In short: it’s a record that tests.
As a listener, it tests the way you view and reference music; pushing ideas and passages that don’t really fit, and that probably shouldn’t go together. I mean, surely everyone hates the synths at the start of ‘Toaster Mouse’? They’re grainy, outdated, cringy and weird, but fuck, they add this extra layer, this extra angle – and it works.
Everything about Alright The Captain’s new album is uncool, but also weirdly cool – if that makes any sense. It’s visceral and comical, light and dark; heavy and poppy. It’s Adventure Time, It’s cheese fondue, It’s Andrew WK. It’s Tim fucking Vine. Sure he’s cringy, outdated and odd, but stick on his DVD you got at Christmas and you’ll never want it to end. Yeah, your mum will hate it, your brother won’t understand it and your nan will struggle to stay awake. But you’ll like it, in your own way. And that’s what’s cool, man. That’s what’s cool.
Buy Alright The Captain‘s Contact Fix on Bandcamp
Stay in touch with the band on Facebook
See them on tour this Feb/March
Words by Andy Crowder