Kid Kapichi are a group that knows if they want something, they’ll have to make it happen themselves. Instead of pausing work on their debut album when lockdown came-a-calling last year, the Hastings band took matters into their own hands and produced it themselves. Impatient yet entirely self-confident, that sense of urgency can be keenly felt across every snarling track on ‘This Time Next Year’.
A vicious exploration of growing up poor, Kid Kapichi’s debut is full of grit, determination and blood-curdling fury. The thunderous ‘Sardines’ makes no apologies about understandable everyday rage (“Work all day at a shit 9-5, boss don’t care if you live or you die… you’re angry, and that’s alright”) and the record never wastes a breath preaching unity or togetherness. As the crunching punk thrash of ‘Thugs’ explains: “You blame our problems on the poor… you wanna bark, we’re going to bite back.”
Like most of the furious political-punk that’s come out over the past decade, ‘This Time Next Year’ is made for playing live. ‘Working Man’s Town’ is driven by filthy Queens Of The Stone Age-style riffs, jolly opener ‘First World Goblins’ feels like Royal Blood-meets-Klaxons and the destructive ‘Violence’ is an anthem of sheer frustration that’s going to cause absolute carnage when it’s finally unleashed in the live arena.
‘This Time Next Year’ is more than a soundtrack to the chaotic gigs of the (hopefully near) future, though. Despite self-producing the album themselves every song sounds deliciously massive, and there’s enough colour across the 12 tracks to keep the whole thing feeling fresh. Kid Kapichi have clearly been studying at the Alex Turner school of lyricism, too; avoiding the lyrical pitfalls of the genre, their songs rely on a relatable style of storytelling rather than simply setting aggressive music to a series of catchy slogans, ensuring that nothing on this self-aware album feels sanctimonious.
“I don’t mean to sound like a preacher,” co-vocalists Jack Wilson and Ben Beetham knowingly sing on ‘Self Saboteur’, a gnarly track that tackles coming-of-age in a small town and the importance of self-belief. The gleeful confidence of ‘Glitterati’ allows the band to skewer celebrity culture, while the wickedly titled ‘Fomo Sapiens’ is a pop-leaning alt-rock track about not knowing when to call it a night. Then there’s the psychedelic ‘Dotted Line’, which takes aim at the ruthless churn of the music industry. Throughout the album, Kid Kapichi’s lyrics wrestle with dreams and the deliberately harsh realities that so often keep them just out of reach for working class people.
Everything feels political right now, and it’s exhausting that everywhere you look there’s incompetence, nepotism and yet another reason to despair. Even the most jaded observer will be re-fired up after hearing ‘This Time Next Year’, though. A record written in the trenches of class warfare and defiantly recorded during a devastating pandemic, it’s smart, emotional and fearless. Kid Kapichi aren’t out to start a revolution – they just want voices like theirs to be heard.
Release date: February 5
Record label: Kid Kapichi