Alright The Captain - SNIB (Field)

Alright The Captain's full-length debut has come prepared and equipped to challenge all gurus of expectancy.

Released Feb 21st, 2011 via Field / By Allan Judkins
Alright The Captain - SNIB (Field) Just when you thought that new experimental rock might be starting to saturate itself from within, this crashes through the wall - a punishing orgy of corrupt, mind-bending wonderment. Insert high volume encouragement cliche here.

It's interesting thinking back through musical history as to whether there has been a bass more effects-heavy than the guitar. Clad in various sonic guises, the bass sounds lean, brutal and worthy of walloping you throughout. And although people who despise slap bass even in its mere subtleties (the same people that pfffted when they heard that Thom Yorke and Flea were working together) should be warned in advance on this account, there is enough drone bass to suitably restore the balance. But still, go easy hey.

Opener 'Rostov Could Get It' starts like an overtly pissed off snake but soon merges into some kind of My Vitriolic broken-chord washery, flashing their versatility at first instance. The ending of 'Neo-Tokyo' suggests there's a few menacing riffs that could easily be nicked by Slayer if they weren't so spruced up in the sense of modern angularity. '#33' makes for a warmer, melodic centrepiece; acting as the sauce to a heavily stodge-packed dinner of an album. The feel-good kind of stodge though, like a lovingly prepared bangers and mash rather than a cold and lifeless Ginsters. 'Peanut Worm' could easily be an Irish jig if it wanted to be, and 'Clamp' lives up to its name by such device's re-utilisation into an effective piece of raucous percussion, sounding like the entertainment of a troubled schoolkid throwing a benny in a metalwork class. Lots of sound-triggered mental imagery here if you haven't noticed.

It's easy to portray yourself to others as a multi-pedal sound-morphing mega force, but even easier to do it namby-pamby. In this case, you can't help but imagine the borderline colossal girth of their pedal boards yet they execute this kind mummery in a careful approach towards filling up the space an instrumental trio can easily leave. SNIB is riddled with effects abuse giving it a unique gritty sheen but can inevitably get a trifle excessive, such as the thick phase on the bass (to the non-musicians, that'll be the effect that makes it sound like a livid queen bee coming for your face). However, at times it only demonstrates the need for a modest clean guitar too. It's all very hedonistic and indulgent stuff but not self-indulgent, more like welcoming the listener to indulge into their quagmire of stupendous noise. This is forward-thinking heaviness in its modern prime.