Monday, 5 May 2008

ALBUM: Captain Phoenix - Life. Temper. Riot. (Kind Canyon Records)

Photo By Andy Willsher

Named after a video game character you say? Hmm, I wonder if they’re anything like Hadouken!? No need to worry about that, the first track makes it completely clear that they’re not – there are no Mario samples, no glow sticks and no Northern rudeboy attitude. And the interesting title is a lie. It’s the pretty listenable sounding guitar pop/indie rock with a little more personality than The Feeling thankfully, although the use of the word ‘fuck’ in opener ‘Stand By’ and ‘Same Old Story’ seem like a James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ type ploy to prove they’ve got a pair. Sadly their music sounds so tragically polite that no matter how much swearing and relationship angst they try to pack into it they can’t change the fact that this is the kind of music your parents wished you would listen to.

Still, there are some definite lyrical gems in the album. ‘Same Old Story’ is a slightly too preachy but true complaint about indie clones pretending to be built on individuality or giving up their friends for fame among a sea of whining about how his girlfriend left him. And their slightly choirboy-ish harmonies are actually alright.

Yes, they’re not musically that interesting but at least they’re not trying to convince people they are (except with the overuse of swearing for no reason with no feeling and the drum rolls that don’t actually lead to anything) and there’s a hell of a lot more substance than the currently recognised kings of bland and fluffy emptiness, The Kooks and The Feeling. Well, their songs are pretty catchy and if Hootie and the Blowfish could sell 16 million copies of Cracked Rearview Mirror I’m sure Captain Phoenix could do something good.

Ollie Khakwani

No comments: