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Kid Kapichi riotously take on the UK on Here's What You Could Have Won

"Here's What You Could Have Won"

Release date: 23 September 2022
Kid kapichi hwychw art
21 September 2022, 00:00 Written by Steven Loftin

Modern life is rubbish.

Well, at least from above it is. And peeking down, while dealing in wit-filled snark that delivers killer blows, Kid Kapichi’s second outing doesn’t as much hold a mirror up to our crackpot little island, as it projects it, cranked to 11, into the ears of any bystander.

The Hastings four-piece first appeared in 2020 with This Time Next Year, an album that offered an exposé into the public eye with society-tackling searing punk. While it served its purpose, proving the intentions of this band of hard grafters, now they’re back to delve even further into the wild ride we’ve all found ourselves on with a sound attempting to be larger than life – and often winning – with Here's What You Could Have Won.

The explosively cathartic entrance of "New England", featuring punk's newest antagonist Bob Vylan, is a quick scene-setter. From this point forth Kid Kapichi rarely relent with their anthems for those disenfranchised watching the country going a bit barmy – with topics including political apathy (“New England”), social media (“I.N.V.U.”), and law and order (“Cops & Robbers”), and the working week (“5 Days On (2 Days Off)”). This is the sound of the boots on the ground with nowhere to go (reinforced by "New England"’s call to arms outro “You ain’t shut them out, you just locked us in!”). Even the Downing Street parties get a nod in the wistful ballad “Party at No. 10”.

Kid Kapichi are in the rare position of seeing all this societal nonsense first-hand – as opposed to acts that pose as false prophets of such ideas, having not done a hard days graft in their life – and it's this aspect that gives HWYCHW a knowing edge through all the smirking, bounding fun.

Certainly, the sound of the working classes has always been an intriguing aspect of British music. You can trace Kid Kapichi’s modern sounds through those of the mid-00s (Kasabian et al), to Britpop (Oasis, Blur), wind through the '70s punk scene, ending up as far back as The Kinks. They're all rooted in the absurd and the catchy, but most importantly, they wanted to capture the essence of our Albion as a form of escapism.

It’s this idea that travels through the likes of “Super Soaker” and “Tar Pit”, the former dealing with letting loose because why the fuck not, and the latter getting extraterrestrial with a hint of existential, though these are where the overall impact loosens up. It’s in a crunching bass line, mechanical-sounding drums and whipping guitar lines that the might delivers. With frontman Jack Wilson’s coarse, commanding voice, there’s an element of forcefulness that feels seasoned to all the bullshit, even in tender moments (“Never Really Had You”).

"Smash The Gaff" finds its protagonist giving a thousand-mile stare in commuter traffic with dreams of just exorcising his demons, and if you've even spent one day travelling to work during rush hour, you'll know this face. Closer "Special" bookends with its wander through the collapsing world we all know ("Here it comes, come again / Another bitter pill to take".)

Indeed, this is an intriguing and explosive snapshot of modern life. With Here’s What You Could’ve Won, Kid Kapichi have not only bolstered their place in the UK punk musical canon, but they’ve managed to say what we’re all thinking with their tongues remaining firmly in cheek – not such a bad prize at all.

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