The Armchair Captains – Fall from Grace | Thespian
With snappy groove and bass-line, the sound of ‘Fall from Grace’ is a really potent combination of Funk, Rock, and Jazz components. Along with the creative and thoughtful arrangements and compositions, the entire album does have a strong narrative quality, which I greatly loved. It recalls the days when we used to spend the entire day listening to a certain record and revelling in its bliss.
The Armchair Captains are a multi-genre band noted for their strong rhythms and theatrical melodies. The Captains originated as two different bands, one a pop covers band and the other a free-jazz improvisational ensemble, after meeting in North Wales. They then moved to Liverpool, where they merged to form ‘The Armchair Captains’. They have been shortlisted for a North West Music Award in the Groundbreaking Artist category, as well as having their music aired on local radio stations.
‘Shelter‘ serves as a delectable appetiser. We have no idea that this is only the beginning. The tune has a comprehensive and rich tone to it. It contains nearly all of the sounds that we will hear as the album proceeds. It’s a lovely blend of tones that serves as an introduction to the shades mostly used, building and preparing the colourful mingling ceramic surface for the audience. The song begins with a funky guitar picking pattern that is softly backed by the saxophone, but the strong pounding Drum rhythm keeps us hooked and keeps our bobbing heads to the correct strokes. The opening riff is utilised extensively, making its presence felt at just the appropriate moments, ensuring the song’s uniqueness and originality in my opinion. Organ fillers give a layer of warmth. The harmonies are the replies to the summons, and they are the arrangement’s most prominent feature. The arrangement is fluid, and the features shift as the storey progresses. The variation of the guitar tone, in particular, is stunning and intelligent. The use of the saxophone and brass instruments is never overpowering. It’s simply applied in the most efficient manner possible. Its attitude is similar to the pretty colour variations in the sky over us.
The next tune, ‘A Blessing (One’s Mournful Deceit),’ is my personal favourite from the album. For me, the track’s depth comes from the extensive use of silences throughout. Its operatic quality makes us experience the story’s agony. The brilliant strong chord progressions in the Piano, which are important components to encrypt the notion and soul in the listeners, complement the breezy gloomy pictures. In particular, the vocal production is excellent. This adds to the arrangement’s vitality. The drum rolls and keyboard tones wonderfully compliment the powerful tale. As you become more immersed in this extraordinary world, you will begin to appreciate the incredible songwriting. The lyrics elicit the appropriate feelings. I don’t want to give too much away about the stories’ concepts and themes, but I would strongly urge you to give the album an opportunity to draw them into their perceptual universe. As a last note on this song, I enjoyed the usage of the Church Organ and how it was presented as a character rather than simply another instrument stacked in the mix.
In terms of tone, the third piece picks up where the second piece left off. The Drums emphasise the exact cadence with the dramatic Piano Chords as ‘It’s All Midnight‘ builds in intensity. The voice energy is at its peak once more. In keeping with the word, it’s emotional and mad as hell at key moments. The principles and spirit of tension and resolution are well matched. Consonances and dissonances are used in the most considerate and sensible way feasible. Once again, the songwriting is given first billing. One takeaway from this beauty is that the interest that grows as the vocals become more intense might be a component to acquire for emerging new musicians.
Overall, an engaging listening experience, and one of the most unusually intriguing in recent memory. I believe that after hearing this song, I realised what I had been lacking in my personal playlist. A record that achieves its primary objective of making you feel something and leaving an impression on your mind. I’ll surely return to it once in a while when I’m bored of listening to the top hits, as they say.