DARK CAPTAIN: Dead Legs & Alibis (LoAF)


Posted on Nov 8th 2011 01:26 am

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Dark Captain: Dead Legs & Alibis

Dead Legs & Alibis
LoAF 2011
10 Tracks. 61mins01secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

In the three years that separate Dead Legs & Alibis from its predecessor, London-based quintet Dark Captain have found themselves on the road quite a lot, criss-crossing Europe and the US, as well as bagged themselves a ‘single of the week’ spot on iTunes in the US with their single Jealous Enemies, and, crucially, dropped half of their name to return to the original Dark Captain of their early days. During that time, they also considerably honed their soft psychedelic folk, working on their songs to give them more substance and filling them with a stronger dynamic.

On their debut album, Dark Captain presented a series of beautifully crafted pop/folk songs with a gentle experimental touch, served by delicate instrumentation and softly brushed vocal harmonies, and this is what fuels much of Dead Legs & Alibis too, but the songs show a much more mature and confident approach, as demonstrated with songs such as first single Submarines, Different & Easier or the superb 8000 Reasons. Whilst not drastically different from anything from Miracle Kicker, these songs feel overall much leaner, the wonderfully delicate and shimmering instrumentation is more polished, and the melodies are tighter.

This is not to say however that Dark Captain have lost any of their original charm. Whilst some of the more upbeat pieces denote a will to expand on their sound, the softer side of this record offers moments as elegant and evocative as any on its predecessor. The beautiful Long Distance Driver takes a somewhat mundane story and turns it into a breezy motorik moment. Later, Fade or Flickering Light prove particularly dreamy pop songs, while Right Way Round or Ex Detective somehow bridge the gap between the Dark Captain Light Captain of old and the more focused Dark Captain of today.

Mention should also be made of the three digital bonus pieces, Bellecurve, the instrumental Jealous Enemies (West Avenue Version) and especially New Dark Interval, which showcases a much more ambitious side of the band. Spread over eight minutes seventeen, this song builds from a delicate acoustic guitar motif into a progressively more complex and electric formation, before it eventually dies down in a flurry of fuzz.

Dark Captain have established a very definite ground for their work, and here, they go deeper into its many corners to expand on the finely crafted sound of their debut. They don’t shake up things too much, but add more refined touches throughout to emphasise the natural elegance of their songs. With Dead Legs & Alibis, Dark Captain show a much more focussed approach to their work, while fundamentally retaining the very essence of who they are.


Dark Captain | LoAF
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

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