Los Capitanes : Rest For The Wicked
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Los Capitanes : Rest For The Wicked

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Canberra’s Los Capitanes’ Tim Kent, on their sophomore album Rest For The Wicked, exhibits an idiosyncratic lyrical style that illustrates the perfect balance between ambiguity and accessibility.

Canberra’s Los Capitanes’ Tim Kent, on their sophomore album Rest For The Wicked, exhibits an idiosyncratic lyrical style that illustrates the perfect balance between ambiguity and accessibility. Sometimes trippy, at others down-to-earth, eccentric yet relatable, quirky then honest, heartfelt then humorous and always imaginatively crafted; Kent demonstrates a prowess in the art of lyricism. However, converse to its consistent lyrical brilliance, the album’s musical quality peaks and troughs.

 

Throughout Rest For The Wicked Los Capitanes exhaust motifs that should have simply served to create congruity in the overall piece; over-emphasizing simple hooks by utilizing horns and rhythm and lead guitar to recite the same line, causing them to become tedious. On the contrary, the record as a whole is far from monotonous; its amalgamation of genres, unexpected deviations, key changes and alternating mood ultimately creating a record that’s so bizarre that it’s enjoyable.

 

Girls, Girls, Girls, Friends In High Places and the ineffably quirky trip that is Hanging With Mr. Cooper are skanking, upbeat ska tunes with fast-paced rap-style vocals. You (Feat. Me) is a laid-back ska tune featuring whimsical clean singing. Kind Folk begins with a slow, dramatic rock beat on the drums, a crisp snare prominent in the foreground as echoed organ sounds and slurring horns create a mood. An emotive track, it features breathy, dreamy vocals and a key shift in the centre that offends the ear into re-engaging. Through the song The Factory, Los Caps attempt to approach hard rock territory, trading in their skank for choppy distorted riffs and rap for (fairly poorly delivered) yells. Linda Lee and The Impartial Re-Telling Of A Fictionalised Hypothetical feature fast-paced punk beats that add a revitalizing energy to the record amongst its more relaxed and melancholy pieces.

 

At times the band’s insistence to construct songs to surprise the listener works to their detriment – a riff in the “heavy” section of the the otherwise peaceful Ode To Explode coming across simple, metronomic and forced. On other occasions, however, they execute theses changes well – during the bridge of You (Feat. Me) the whole arrangement suddenly leaps up an octave mid-phrase, creating interest in a subtle and congruent fashion.

 

Occasionally, it’s hard to know what to make of these attempts – such as the strange, modal guitar solo in The Factory; while it is indeed interesting and even fitting to the disquieting nature of the track, it just doesn’t sound good.

Incontestably positive elements of the album are the band’s use of playful and sarcastic humour and the spoken word exerts frequently included to enforce the feel of the pieces. Whether it’s the disturbing speech in The Factory, the cute “grandpa monologue” inNanna And Pop Song or the hilariously sardonic “ex-girlfriend rant” in The Impartial Re-Telling Of A Fictionalised Hypothetical, each makes the album all the more entertaining.

 

Rest For The Wicked is a record that slowly earns your affection track by track, and although it didn’t win me over immediately, mid-way through I let go of my initial apprehensions and embraced it. By the time I reached the last track (which was entirely comprised of sound effects from Super Nintendo) I realised it had its good qualities… I liked it… Okay, I kind of fell in love with it.

 

Best Track: Hanging With Mr. Cooper.

If you dig this, you’ll also dig: Playing brass instruments.

In A Word: Skank.


Out Now Through Sound System