Kid Kapichi – ‘Here’s What You Could’ve Won’

By Andy Joice

Sometimes, writing close to a delivery deadline is a dangerous game. As an example, this review has almost certainly breached the guided deadline for submission, and I’ll have to pull strings to get it published in time – this says more about me than anything else. But for a band like Kid Kapichi, who thrive on cultural reflection and current affairs, it’s a match made in heaven. Within their latest album, ‘Here’s What You Could’ve Won’, are tracks that depict the political landscape as it is currently – a total shower of shit.

Opening with ‘New England’, thick rhythmic beats land heavily before Jack Wilson’s vocals describes  the ‘new England’ – overtly patriotic, pride bordering on narcissism, and a general apathy for change. With Bob Vylan adding a verse that’s equally scathing – “Worry ’bout your neighbours and worry ’bout the druggies/And not the Eton graduate that’s taking all your money” – it’s clear that these two powerhouses have one clear goal; to force everyone to wake the fuck up and smell the oatmilk spiced chai latte.

Couple this track with ‘Party At No. 10’, a takedown of the 2020 Tory Christmas Party, it’s clear that Kapichi aren’t just spouting meaningless, repetitive catchphrases like other bands. There’s a passion and power to their lyrics that should resonate with anyone living in this country we sadly call home. A delicate acoustic track, complete with a whistling solo, its slower tempo allows the lyrics to stand out clearly, delivering the point that whilst people were dying, others were taking the piss. The downside is the stripped back guitars are mildly jarring following a collection of punchy, upbeat tracks.

Although politics isn’t entirely a thread for the album, societal equality is, with singles like ‘I.N.V.U.’, ‘5 Days On (2 Days Off)’, and ‘Rob The Supermarket’ all pointing at the disparity between the working class and the social elites. Lyrically, ‘Rob The Supermarket’ is particularly dexterous, with slick rhymes. They might not be particularly complex, but the way it paints a picture is superb, Wilson’s microphone akin to Monet’s brush.

Similarly, ‘I.N.V.U’ feels like a modern retelling of Blur’s ‘Charmless Man’ – effortlessly describing the modern, big dick idiot flashing cash and talking trash.  We all know someone like it, living the easy life whilst we’re working ourselves to the bone, and although there is naturally some jealousy, that’s exactly what they want.

‘Cops And Robbers’ and ‘Smash The Gaff’ both have a subtle Prodigy-esque feel to the instrumentation. Big swells of beats, with subtle synthy moments. It’s a testament to their talent and writing that they don’t feel overwhelming amongst the other tracks, particularly ‘Smash The Gaff’, at its breakneck tempo.

Perhaps the standout song, or at the very least, the one that is absolutely clear to get live crowds bouncing, is ‘Tar Pat’. With a distinctive hook, and thunderous rhythms from Eddie Lewis and George MacDonald (who’s drums seem to be hit harder than adamantium), and killer chorus gives way to a delicate refrain before dropping an absolute destructive and layered breakdown. Queue this one up, get the volume cranked up and let it embrace you.

Fans of ‘Hope’s A Never Ending Funeral’ from their 2021 (appropriately named) album, ‘This Time Next Year’ will be pleased to hear ‘Never Really Had You’, a balladic, piano led piece. Gentle and self reflective, it’s a welcome reprise that allows you to catch your breath before the frantic ‘Smash The Gaff’ explodes.

Closing with ‘Special’, it truly lives up to its title. With a delicate bassline that pins everything together, layers of twinkling guitars and subtle drum work, it’s a captivating listen that fits together like a 1000-piece jigsaw. And yet, despite the layers, the harmonies with Wilson and guitarist Ben Beetham, there’s almost an absence to it, its ambient nature reflecting the day-to-day poverty and welfare injustice. This might sound hyperbolic, but there are pangs of The Beatles in the way they descend the scale in the chorus with big strings and flair.

Kid Kapichi are a band with one finger on the pulse of society, and another stuck up at the people running it. Their punchy instrumentation is matched only by their heavy hitting honesty and wit. The perfect follow-up to their 2021 debut, ‘Here’s What You Could’ve Won’ adds to their observations of the last few years with an open eye and a clenched fist. Here’s hoping the next instalment of the Kapichi diary is far more positive.

ANDY JOICE

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