Alright the Captain: Conversational Skills for the Socially Anxious – album review

Alright the Captain – Conversational Skills for the Socially Anxious (Field Records)
Available 18 May 2013


We take a listen to the short but superb second album from experimental math-rock band Alright the Captain.

Conversational Skills for the Socially Anxious is the second album of instrumental math-rock from Derby three-piece Alright the Captain.

The number of band members though is almost secondary, noteworthy only due to the scale of the musical beast they unleash. Snapping and snarling through 16.5 minutes of sheer energy and melodic weirdness, it might be short for an album but it’s a fantastic creation all the same.

Energy is the thing here. Aiming to capture the intensity of their live shows the record bristles with big riffs building into walls of sound that intrigue with complexity as much as they hit with sheer force.


Knocking you off balance with electro blows from start this short album doesn’t mess around. It’s heavy, dirty noise but it’s also lean, every note precision placed within the flow.

The tracks blend seamlessly from one to another each exploring or highlighting different facets of the band’s influences and styles. There’s hard and heavy riffs, almost funky bass, tight rhythms all mixed in with deep and delightful electronic flights.

The highly rhythmic repeats in tracks like Key Skills, give a tribal undertow before samples squeal and crunch to the fore and the whole thing changes gear with a massive melt-your-face riff.

Their live shows (and be in no doubt of the work ethic of the band – they seem to tour almost constantly) effervesce with energy and skill and Conversational Skills for the Socially Anxious proves they can convert this, capture it on record.

Alright the Captain describe this record as capturing their evolving sound. It does that, but also coveys their journey as a band and their further potential for growth.

They’re certainly an exciting prospect, constantly on the move with their creativity. Experimental math-rock this may be but it’s also an amazing sounding potential evolution of other genres, style and approach.

Highly recommended listening if you like music operating without borders and full on enthusiasm for creativity.

You can find out more about Alright the Captain on Facebook and Twitter. Catch them live over the next couple of months at:

  • 24 May, Henrys Cellar, Edinburgh
  • 25 May,  Bar Bloc, Glasgow
  • 26 May, Cellar 35, Aberdeen
  • 7 June,  The Chameleon, Nottingham
  • 6 July,  The Hope & Anchor, Islington 

All words by Sarah Lay. You can read more from Sarah on LTW here or follow her on Twitter.

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Sarah is a former editor of Louder Than War and a freelance music writer for numerous other publications online and in print. Co-owner of Reckless Yes Records she has put out music by LIINES, Pet Crow and lots of other awesome bands as well as put on shows by bands including Bivouac, Mark Morriss, Desperate Journalist and Dream Nails. She's an author, user experience designer and digital content strategist, as well as an occasional broadcaster. Sarah is a compulsive collector of coloured vinyl, a believer in the boogie and is in love with possibilities.


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