I don’t know about you guys, but when I hear about a distinctly dulcet concoction of ebullient lover’s rock, sonorous reggae, and impassioned ska - with a pinch of the interstellar magic of dub – my ears start prickling. Eager for an earworm from unchartered soil, I found Captain Accident. Working from his home studio in Cardiff, the amazing groove he envisions is then solidified on the stage within the synergy between himself and an ensemble of musicians known as “The Disasters”. Jam-packed with zestful vocals, voltaic twin guitars and introspective lyricism, you can imagine I was thrilled to hear about the release of Captain Accident’s fourth studio album ‘Bad Press’ last month!
Following the substantially successful legacy of his previous three albums: ‘Pick Up the Microphone’ (2010), ‘Slippin’ Up’ (2013) and ‘Wake & Break’ (2016), we reach 2021. Having witnessed the colourful influence of his vibrant festival performances etched atop the adoring hearts of masses of fans and the generous praise of national press and BBC Radio 1Xtra, I think it’s safe to say this album is going to be a doozy. Enough of the natter, let’s kick this off with a bang and dive into ‘Playing Field’.
Straight off the bat, we are hit with the mellow romanticism that meanders through the seamless interlocking timbres of the introductory instrumentation. With a mesmerising tempo to ooze that slow-jam magic, the bright timbre of the guitar complements the bombilating timbre of that resonant bassline, creating this transcendental aura of passion, like a slow-burning candle dripping rose-scented wax. It is just something you don’t hear, or at least not as refined, as you hear it in reggae.
One need only listen to “So can we just step back to how things used to be? / But with a few important changes for humanity” and you feel the history behind the journey. I have a soft spot for lyrics that pack an evocative punch, and the politicized poetry you can hear permeate throughout the song’s agitated tone is thought-provoking, acting as a social commentary on the government’s contribution to localised confusion and unease.
Captain Accident’s reggae has an introspective flare that serves as a luminescent lunette, onlooking the romantic escapism audible in the crisp dynamics and distinctly unique vocal work in this single. I give it a solid 8/10. Now, to the next gem in this album, ‘Run Rabbits Run’.
Admittedly, upon my first listen, I thought this may have been too similar to ‘Playing Field’ to inspect in greater detail. I was then made to eat my words when the twin guitars hit my ears and so the love story begins. The gleeful effervescence of the guitars has such a homely-spiced twang to it, that I feel like I’m yearning for some daydreamer’s nostalgia, envisioning a place of comfort that I’ve only imagined years before the world changed so drastically.
What impressed me a lot in this track was the playful melody of the vocals, paired with the feather-light piano playing, it really sounds like everyone involved is having a great time producing this single and it sweetens the overall tonality. My only criticism is that I initially wouldn’t have included this song in my review due to its similar introductory instrumentation to ‘Playing Field’. 7/10.
Lastly, I took a look at ‘Dark N Stormy’, having experience as a bartender and overall a shameless binge drinker, the title immediately sparked some intrigue. I think this song carries a tone that resonates across the entire album. All of the songs have that traditional spicy, warm sharpness (just like the ginger in a Dark N Stormy) that reggae is popularised for. The vocals are beautifully controlled within this track, although I must admit that a true reggae fan may be able to appreciate this album a little more than I can. I felt myself wanting a little more in terms of range in this album, although beautifully crafted, I found myself not being able to distinguish some songs from one another. I will give ‘Dark N Stormy’ this; the influence of festivals and good vibes are even more prevalent in this track, providing me with a good bop I genuinely felt warmed by. I just like a little more variety every now and then.
Nevertheless, Captain Accident and his immensely talented companions, are having quite the year of success so far! Not only releasing ‘Bad Press’ but approaching the conclusion to a very exciting summery tour – including a show-stopping performance at the legendary Rototom Sunsplash in Spain – I don’t think we have seen the last of Captain Accident!
Article By Rebecca Todd