Alright The Captain – Conversational Skills For The Socially Anxious (Field Records)
Release date: 20 May 2013
It's been over two years since Alright The Captain offered any new recorded material, so their follow-up to Snib has been eagerly anticipated in certain circles for some time now. So what are we waiting for? Let the math-rock head-melting begin!
Bolognese Holiday is trademark 'Captain – from frenetic to melodic, the band veer through their self-made obstacle course of complex layering, intricate drum patterns and that dirty bass sound. The curiously titled Snake Tits takes on more of an expansive persona, with rousing atmospherics intersected by incongruous outbursts from Toner and Wood respectively. And that's what really defines the band's progressive sound – the surge of ideas that literally falls out of them at a moment's notice; whether it's the abrasive pairing of the guitar and bass locking horns, or complex time signatures churned out in unison. Alright The Captain are lords of the slippery ear worm, just when you think you've caught hold of the idea, they're onto the next one.
Key Skills is a definitive track for the band – it's the EP's Honey Badger or Rostov Could Get It, and Alright The Captain dial the head-fuckery knob to 11. But it terms of the band's own progression, EP closer Hurt Burger is a champion; slow burning melody and wild spacey distortion is accompanied by a bit of playful knob-twiddling and production detail – and for a band with an attention deficit such as theirs, it's the closest they have gotten to writing an 'epic'.
Conversational Skills For The Socially Anxious showcases two years of evolution from the Alright The Captain camp, who push forward their distinctive sound. And it also marks the final time that drummer West-Mullen records with the band, handing over his sticks to Jamie Cattermole to take the band into album two.
Recommended if you like: Don Cabellero, Tera Melos, Adebisi Shank
Go get it: Catch the band live to pick up the handsomely packaged EP, or await its official release on Bandcamp on Monday 20 May.