Kid Kapichi – ‘There Goes The Neighbourhood’

By Katherine Allvey

There is so much to love about Kid Kapichi’s latest outing. The Hastings punks’ third album, ‘There Goes The Neighbourhood’ is a riotous snapshot of where they stand in the world today, and by the end of it you feel like you know them. They’re your mates you meet at Wetherspoons, mouthy and charismatic, hiding their razor-sharp intelligence under a top coat of blunt sarcasm and anecdotes that start with “remember that time when…” In the firing line this time: the police force, Brexit, hustle culture and, err, the nineties. 

The advance single drops are some of the strongest tracks on the album. ‘Let’s Get To Work’ satirises the grind with a clanking riff and eighties workout video energy. Eyebrows are raised and tongues are firmly in cheeks as they channel early Frank Carter with just a dash more frustration. ‘Tamagotchi’, inspired by the existential horror of turning thirty, lists out everything they remember from their childhoods in order before a key change and a moment of terror when they realise it’s not “only yesterday” that they were kids. This would be purile were it not for the surprising shifts in mood and gentle sympathetic synths that take this track out of novelty territory.

It’s not just nostalgia that informs ‘There Goes The Neighbourhood’. Kid Kapichi have never held back politically, and the two tone influenced ‘Zombie Nation’ bemoans the state of the UK. The track leans heavily on the grim-social-commentary-meets-rocksteady sound characterised by their former touring partners The Specials. This is the edgiest vocal that special guest Suggs has done in decades, harkening back to that distant time before Madness were a mainstay of stately home concert series. If you were unaware of Kid Kapichi’s views on the police (not Sting’s band, just to be clear), you will be certain of how they see the boys in blue by the end of ‘999’. It’s an incredibly in-your-face track, saying things that probably need to be said, over a brutal, panicked, beat. “It’s not one bad apple, it’s the whole goddamn tree,” spits vocalist Jack Wilson and you get a sense he really means what he’s saying. The posturing comes from a place of anger. The punning title of ‘Can EU Hear Me?’ snarks on Brexit regret at a breakneck speed. “You can’t separate a tectonic plate, mate,” sneers Wilson on a track that’s equal parts The Hives and Ian Drury. 

Just when you think you can nail down the Kid Kapichi sound, they throw in a track that’s completely out of left field. ‘Jimi’ is a very simple song, just vocals and bare strumming, that channels The Libertines at their best. That’s one of the joys of Kid Kapichi: they say whatever’s on their mind, and that can range from incendiary political statements to touching tributes to friends lost along the way. Being honest can mean bluntness or vulnerability, after all, and a band that seemingly prides themselves on their status as truth tellers should be able to find room for both in their output as Kid Kapichi have done on this record. ‘Angeline’, the album’s token love song, channels Blur at their most whimsical. Electronic bubbles bounce in the background of a tale of post-modern infatuation and the pain of being left on read, and including a lighter song is a smart move to stop their harsher tracks from making the album oppressive. 

Kid Kapichi have achieved something rare on ‘There Goes The Neighbourhood’. They’ve managed to capture the zeitgeist of the dissatisfying reality of living in the UK in 2024, while also creating a sympathetic and entirely individual voice through their songs. Sure, some people might find how brash they can be to be off-putting, but Kid Kapichi aren’t for those people. They’re for the rest of us, the segment of the population who remember “school discos and Macarenas,” feel very annoyed at the state of the world today and just really want to dance out their feelings to fat, stomping punk songs. If that’s you, you’re going to have this album on repeat for a long time to come. 

KATE ALLVEY

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