Wake and Break is the 3rd album from Captain Accident. Quietly confident with playful flair; this feels like a real step forward in terms of songwriting and production. Given the exceptional quality of this Cardiff based band’s preceding releases, this is high praise indeed.
Instrumentation-wise, there is bright, uncluttered mix of clean sharp sounds. Muted guitar plucked riffs and staccato chord strums give the tunes groove and bounce. These hard rhythms often give way to the Captain Accident trademark soaring guitar solos, sailing out the window on a hazy cloud of reverb. Cohesion is the name of the game, from composition to production, everything works together and lends strength to the central performance at the heart of the album.
Tonally, Wake and Break ranges from bittersweet, to super-sweet. The lead vocals play a big part so it is fortunate that they have an effortlessly brilliant quality. While displaying an impressive range and strong rhythmic delivery, Captain Accident affects his performance with lilting trills and vocal exertions that may well split the crowd’s reaction depending on your tolerance. The apex of these melodic meanderings is track two “Simon Says” which is a bit too lilting for me, but since this is a stylistic choice it will always come down to personal preference.
In the lead single “Restless Man”, the Cap’ sings that he’s “a restless man”, who can’t “sit round doing nothing”. This tinkerer’s trait certainly shows through in the music; it all smacks of a rigorous process of constant twiddling and rewriting to make every part of every song stand-out. This attention to detail results in a set of tunes which more than stand-up to repeat listening and music buffs will be delighted with the subtle subversions of tune and beat that liven up the traditional reggae structure.
There is a happy blend of off-beat genres at play keeping things fresh, without becoming disjointed. It is not an album that calls out to be listened to as an “album experience” played in a strict progression- these party tunes are just as happy on shuffle.
A vein of politics permeates throughout, but it’s less smash the state and more just ignore the state. The message that shines through strongest is a critique of consumerism and given the album accessible mainstream appeal, this is surely a great statement to be putting out. If you’ve ever wondered what a anti-capitalist Disney song might sound like check out the brilliant “Money People”, if ever a music video called out for some kind of animated, anarchist crustacean this is it.
The best song of the collection is “Many Moons” which introduces quite honestly the most delightful rolling guitar riff that gentle ebbs and waves like sunlight, silhouetting leaf laden branches, buffeted in a cool summer breeze. Sounds silly but that is literally the only description that makes sense somehow. It is the perfect chilled summer tune to kick back and enjoy the moment to.
The bottom-line is, Wake and Break is a really great album with a wide access point that should surely appeal to anyone who appreciates wonderful music.