Dark Captain

Dead Legs & Alibis

East London quintet Dark Captain (formerly known as the twice as time-consuming to say Dark Captain Light Captain) are shortly to release ‘Dead Legs & Alibis’. It’s the follow-up to their 2008 debut full-length ‘Miracle Kicker’, which harvested critical praise across the board, and was voted 33rd best album of the year by UK newspaper The Guardian.

The album also spawned a surprise hit stateside with ‘Jealous Enemies’ (made US iTunes single of the week by a very kind Apple employee and receiving a humorously large number of downloads as a result), and catapulted the band all round Europe and the UK, where they gleefully played their songs to audiences frequently reported to be “impressed”, sharing stages with the likes of Sophia, 65daysofstatic, Tunng and Laetita Sadier (Stereolab).

At some point last year (2010), the band decided to disembark this joyously relentless carousel of budget flights, punctual soundchecks and questionable service station snack food, in order that another album may force its way into the world. ‘Dead Legs & Alibis’ is the shimmering, restless result of these endeavours. Existing devotees of the band’s brushing, downtuned acoustic guitars, close vocal harmonies, electronic pulses and estuary-accented recriminations will no doubt be desperately relieved that the claustrophobic, early-hours confessionals which characterised ‘Miracle Kicker’ are still present. This time, however, they’re pleasingly offset by the type of soaring, motorik full-band grooves which not only mark ‘Dead Legs & Alibis’ as a more varied and organic proposition than its predecessor, but will also have those who stamped the band with the alt/psych-folk tag last time round staring aghast into the mirror, wondering what the hell they were thinking.

So while the hushed likes of ‘Fade’ and ‘Flickering Light’ will satisfy Dark Captain aficionados, songs such as ‘Strange Journeys Home’ and lead single ‘Submarines’ demonstrate that the band aren’t afraid to pop their heads above the parapet from time to time, in order to lay down krautish anthems which bring to mind Fleetwood Mac, Midlake and Grizzly Bear broken down at the side of the autobahn, but getting on like a house on fire while they wait for assistance. Elsewhere, ‘Right Way Round’ is a plaintive reflection, set to a chunky groove evoking a folked-up Fugazi, while ‘Different & Easier’ harnesses ‘Bryter Layter’-era Nick Drake to underscore its slightly threatening and accusatory sentiments. Singer Dan Carney, at his eloquent best, sums it the mood of the album thus: “basically, the songs on this one are quite a bit better, and some of them are really different to the ones on the last one.”

We very much hope you enjoy ‘Dead Legs & Alibis’.


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