Every so often, and actually it’s not that often, I get an album drop into my inbox completely unannounced and it just clicks with me on the first listen. This is one of those albums. From the opening bars of ‘Odyssey’ this music from the Hawkwind-esquely titled Here The Captain Speaking, The Captain Is Dead just sent me off on a real feel-good mood that keeps going for the whole length of the album, and then a bit after that. They are a three-piece from Valencia in Spain: Adrián (guitars, synths), Dela (bass guitar) Dela and Lucas (drums), and together they take us on a journey through the sonic universe that begins in the 1970s.
Let’s be clear this isn’t a clever album (it’s not stupid either), it doesn’t seem to have any sort of high concept… what it is is an album of excellent music played with verve and exuberance in a manner that just puts a real smile on my face… a real tour de force of playing with momentum and power.
It’s also a wholly instrumental album, and I am afraid that so much of the music I get falls down when the vocal kicks in, the aforementioned ‘Odyssey’ rises out of the speakers like watching the sun rising over a planet from space as there is a moment of shoegaze before the rhythm of this track bangs in and were away on a motorik journey to the stars… just fab man.
If anything ‘Cult of Youth’ ups the ante with it’s high tempo rhythm section and repeato theme that gives the track a real sense of build… you feel like the music in not only becoming more intense but also dense before 2’30” in it ejaculates into a punk guitar before powering off in search of the cosmic edge. This isn’t space rock… it’s full on rawk and I love it!
‘Michael Faraday’ takes things down a notch with a more considered piece that will have you grooving as much as rocking out. This track tells me that there’s more to this band that just banging out a tune, there’s subtlety and thought here too… but they also somehow never let up…
…even when getting to a track called ‘Interlude’, which is just drenched with treated guitar and the sort of kitchy sound that stays on the right side of good taste while evoking a time which seemed more simple… somehow warmer and more welcoming. As everywhere on this album they blend elements of kraut and other forms of 70s rock music into a blend that feels bang up to date.
The ‘Interlude’ over the band bring the album home with ‘Event Horizon’ a large slab of clearly improvised music which is played with such freedom that you just cannot help being drawn into it. Like the rest of the album it just moves along with a sort of natural purpose as if it was a tune that was always meant to be played… I hope this gets picked up for a physical release by someone soon!
Krautrawk ‘n’ Roll!
‘Here The Captain Speaking, The Captain Is Dead’ is available to download from the band’s bandcamp…
It is now also available to pre-order on vinyl from Tonzonen Records here.
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