A trio of musicians from Northern Ireland, Birmingham, and Ilkeston who got together in Nottingham and set about making “loud experimental math-rock” as well as touring incessantly, Alright The Captain follow up their well-received 123.EP with first full-length Snib. It’s a restless, frequently dazzling affair that veers between crushingly heavy riffs, fluid post-rock grooves and passages of serene guitar hum.
‘Rostov Could Get It’ kicks it all off with a flurry of loud, fuzzy guitar-work before switching to a more patient, atmospheric tempo, the track fizzling out with some squealing feedback. These kind of deceptive twists and turns are characteristic of the album as a whole. ‘Neo Tokyo’ features a catchy, textured math-rock hook, but true to form, the trio abandon it before long and take the track in a more fast-paced direction. ‘Pay Off’ is a standout, leading in with lean, insistent riffing; after a brief tempo change, a wave of subtly melodic, shoegaze-tinged drone soothes your previously-assailed senses. ‘Honey Badger’, meanwhile, is a manic, frenzied track that’s proven to be a fan favourite.
While there are similarities to prominent Irish bands like Adebisi Shank and The Redneck Manifesto, certain aspects of Alright The Captain’s sound set them apart: in particular, the scuzzy, sludgy guitar tones have a definite charm to them, providing a rough-around-the-edges contrast to their dextrous, fleet-footed musicianship. These songs may well be in their true element in the live setting, but Snib is nevertheless a very solid offering from a band with bags of potential.