I decided on taking a bit of a challenge reviewing this album by Alright The Captain. As a reviewer, if can often become far too easy to cherry pick what styles of music you wish to review; in my case I tend to look out for extreme metal and I make no apologies for that as it’s one of my favourite genres. I do love other forms of rocks, but the extreme end of the spectrum is really my specialist subject matter.
Alright The Captain initially tripped a whole tonne of alarm flags for me. Notably, when I tried a few tracks that were scattered about online they left me a bit cold. In today’s internet generation, I often feel that bands are just out there to output their random noise just because they have the power to do so – while in such ‘pre internet’ times such a band would not have got the exposure that it would have done; and would be laughed out of the building when a demo tape was sent to a record label. Also, the notion of a band crowd funding a release seems to be just some form of short cutting exercise. “We’re great, give us money – because we said we’re great” – as opposed to setting up via the traditional methods. That are usually listened to by curious zeitgest worshippers wearing tweed without a sense of irony, well cultivated beards, who probably knit their own artisan yoghurt or something.
Now that I’ve my initial cynicism out of the way, let’s focus more on the band’s music and let that do the talking.
Alright The Captain are a somewhat esoteric band, that are a sonic jam with that takes many weird and wonderful turns. Fusing together strange time signatures, synth noodling, and blasts of noisy antisocial rock. Their sound draws from quite a few random influences that shouldn’t theoretically work, all thrown into one mixing pot for shits and giggles. The curiously titled ‘Toaster Mouse’ reminds me of a Commodore 64 game soundtrack turned into prog rock; strange chip tune synth doodles pinned with massive sonic wig outs that remind me in places of Mudhoney having jam off against Primus that is oddly compelling and bewitching to listen to.
‘Baltirific’ begins with massive lairy fuzz, that breaks into sections that remind me of the quiet floaty sections of Isis, while ‘HBT’ is peppered with skittish synths and chiming melodic chords, and guitar fuzz. ‘Eagle Hands’ pretty much reminds me of a Mogwai B side that never seen the light of day recorded onto a DAT tape. stashed away in an office juniors stationary cupboard. Initially, I was immediately sceptical about this band; but after further listens to its enchanting sonic oddness it starts to make its way into your brain. The whole musicianship of the exercise is pretty much sound and flawless, and each band member is clearly talented in what they do. In fact, the most admirable quality about the band is that they’re just messing with convention and playing music that they want to do, and not what a slick haired Audi A4 driving grey suited bore wants of them. On the basis of this alone, with all the hard work they’ve put into it I would certainly buy them a pint if I encountered them down my local pub.
However, Alright The Captain may be an acquired taste for a few people due to the nature of their strange but captivating instrumental sonic doodlings. If you’re into the likes of Primus, Boris, Earth, Mogwai and other such esoteric rock then you’ll love them and are worth checking out. But, there’s some out there that will think it’s pretentious noise for pretentious noise sake and just because they can do it.
If they played a random pub and I happened to be there, I’d certainly stick around. That’s for sure.