KID KAPICHI – There Goes The Neighbourhood (Album Review)

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Few things can make an impression like a consistent and uncompromising work ethic, and one thing that Hastings native Kid Kapichi can’t be accused of is slacking off at the job. Now putting forth their third studio offering in as many years, this institution in 90s alternative rock, Brit-pop, and punk repackaged for a 2020s audience has definitely been keeping busy, and the result is a sound that is continually being refined into something that would pass for terrestrial radio were it still the preferred medium of the current generation.

Their latest musical excursion, aptly titled “There Goes The Neighbourhood,” is an album that tackles weighty subjects in a largely light-hearted and accessible manner; often blurring the sonic lines between the disparate 90s scenes of Seattle’s grunge craze and the concurrent musings of Blur and Oasis via their native Britain, though taking extra care to avoid the overt moroseness of the former in favor of the latter’s more fun-loving yet grounded lyrical approach.

The synchronicity that is established between the blending of styles at play is immediately apparent, as a fuzzy, distorted guitar tone that could almost trade blows with the rawness of vintage Sonic Youth interplays with a sleek rhythm section that flirts with an industrial rock character. For their parts, frontmen, and guitarists Jack Wilson and Ben Beetham generally play it close to the hip with a streamlined riffing approach that is somewhat reminiscent of The White Stripes, though a good bit denser and with a few more moving parts, while the thick accented vocals that are brought to the table play at a middle ground between the attitude of the original 70s punk rock craze and the more measured feel of 80s new wave.

The fairly frequent employment of keyboards to complement the arrangement often flirts with a Killing Joke vibe, while the largely mid-paced and steady grooves of drummer George MacDonald and the glassy undertow of Eddie Lewis’ bass work might well compel one to hit the dance floor as much as the rest beckons one to rock out.

“There Goes The Neighbourhood” Artwork

Though not quite an overt grab bag of contrasting songs, “There Goes The Neighbourhood” comes pretty close to running the gamut of just about everything that was a staple of the 90s, all the while maintaining a generally consistent flow. The low-end, gritty industrial rocking opener “Artillery” lands with a respectable thud and sets a tone of discontent that is mirrored on the fast-paced pop punk anti-Brexit anthem “Can EU Hear Me” and the heavy-hitting hardcore-adjacent romp “999”. Then again, the angst is tempered with a healthy dose of optimism on such upbeat rockers as the ode to working-class dreamers “Let’s Get To Work” and the catchy meets dynamic flair with a sarcastic edge of “Get Down”.

Things get into more of a dancing swing with the keyboard-driven vibes of “Tamagotchi”, as well as the overt new wave session of a comedic secret romance with an Asian princess “Subaru” and the fun yet almost slasher-movie themed “Zombie Nation”. This quirky blend of electronics and gritty rock hits an arguable apex point on the comedic anthem of love gone wrong “Angeline”, seesawing into a dark hip hop meets punchy rock shtick with “Oliver Twist”.

But it all comes to a head at the album’s conclusion with the brilliantly played “Jimi”; a song title that had my unserious mind waiting for a quip about needing to think with your dipstick, but in actuality, proved to be a very heartfelt acoustic ode to a past friend that musically bridges the divide between Radiohead and The White Stripes seamlessly.

Those looking for something a bit different that still checks all of the hard rock boxes will find a solid listen with “There Goes The Neighbourhood,” if maybe a bit all over the place at times. While individually, each song stands reasonably strong and comes with a decent hook and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, as a whole package it can feel like a rambling affair.

Wilson and Beetham prove more than apt at carrying an infectious tune with a notable degree of charisma, and though the songwriting’s overt pop tendencies result in something that is paradoxically predictable in spite of the wide array of stylistic influences, the eclectic character of what is brought to the table keeps things popping for the full 37 minutes. This is a band with a clearly defined target audience, and those who could go for a blend of 90s heavy rocking crunch and overtly British quirkiness are clearly in the thick of it.

Released By: Spinefarm Records
Release Date: March 15th, 2024
Genre: Punk / Alternative Rock

Musicians:

  • Jack Wilson / Vocals, Guitars
  • Eddie Lewis / Bass
  • Ben Beetham / Guitars
  • George MacDonald / Drums

There Goes The Neighborhood Track-List:

  1. Artillery
  2. Let’s Get To Work
  3. Tamagotchi
  4. Can EU Hear Me?
  5. Get Down
  6. 999
  7. Subaru
  8. Zombie Nation
  9. Angeline
  10. Oliver Twist
  11. imi

Order “There Goes The Neighborhood” HERE

8.0 Great

A quartet of happy-go-lucky blokes from Hastings known as Kid Kapichi mix up topics and rock subgenres again to forge a more concise and direct product that is still musically a little bit 90s American alternative, a little bit homegrown Brit-pop, yet wholly an original twist on the definition of indie rock

  • Songwriting 8
  • Musicianship 7.5
  • Originality 8.5
  • Production 8
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