Coming from Sheffield, these two boys have some very high-flying peers to step into the limelight with, but, on the evidence of their debut album, they can step in with their heads held high. Arctic Monkeys are the obvious recent kids on the block for comparison but apart from the epic drumming capabilities in both camps, there is no other comparison. Longpigs are another local band of years gone by that comes more to mind, especially on the track ‘Flowers’.
You’re the Captain is the debut album from Algiers, two lads who met in a Sheffield bar and had a mutual liking for each other’s bands at the time. They decided to get together and see what sound they could make, and their first results can be heard on their 2011 EP Four Priests.
The band made a conscious decision to not have a bass player in their set up, feeling that that particular instrument was not needed in the music they were making. Now, for someone who has a keen liking to what a bass guitar brings to a band, I was unsure of what to expect, but the decision appears to have been a wise one: John Goodwin’s drums being generally quite “in your face” and high tempo throughout, and with William Anderson’s soaring guitar riffs, the spaces left that the bass would have normally filled really let your ears pick out the intricacies between the two instruments and the lovely harmonies. An album definitely made for being listened to through headphones.
It is always interesting to hear what a band believes should be their first single and with ‘Mother’ (released 3rd February) also being the first song on the album, these guys obviously believe it is the song to show off what they are about and it really does set the tone for the album; starting off a little lightweight, it lures you into a false sense of ‘middle of the road rock’ until the drums, guitar and vocals all kick up a gear.
There are no obvious pop melody hooks here, and their sound really can’t be put into a time bracket: music has come full circle and though these guys have captured the sound of bands from their local peers spanning different decades, as well as ones from further afield, Death Cab for Cutie being one, but more importantly they have captured a sound that is uplifting, sometimes anthemic and very much their own.
A couple of standout tracks are ‘Lighthouse’, which will give you goosebumps, and ‘To The Beat of a Marching Drum – Part 2’, which is just a wonderful way to end any album. There must be something in the water in Sheffield. [rating:3.5]
You’re The Captain is out now on iTunes. Check out the video for ‘Lighthouse’ below.