My Sad Captains – Here & Elsewhere

I have been waiting for MSC debut CD for a long time now. Having first heard them on the defunct Music Exchange between Steve Lamaq (Radio 1) and Nic Harcourt (KCRW) and then seeking out a handful of download tracks (see posts passim) I have been awaiting more in a rather impatient manner. Well at last their first full length item is here.

You know how it is sometimes that waiting in anticipation can leave you a little deflated when the product arrives? Well I am afraid that this was my first feelings on listening through Here & Elsewhere. Nothing really wrong but then again not the euphoric thrill I had been hoping for these long years. Not wanting to admit to disappointment I left writing a postfor a few days and kept spinning the disc.

Now a few more plays in I feel a bit different. Initially I was going to say that the album finishes more strongly than it starts, but I am not so sure anymore. Truth is that this is a bit of a slow burner for me, gradually giving up its charms – and it is a charming set of tracks. I knew Bad Decisions, All Hat and No Plans and Ghost Song of old but now Good to Go, You Talk All night and Hello Bears have also plugged themselves in.

The things that make MSC so charming (there we go again) may well be the things that failed to hit an immediate punch. They still sound, like they did on early demos, as if they have rather haphazardly thrown it all together in their bedrooms; the Pavementesque vocals, the sense of reaching the end of songs almost by accident at times, the jingly jangly-ness of it all.

But a few listens reveals the really rather good songs, and a greater sense of purpose than is apparent at first glance. It has an odd combination of jolly summeryness and a whiff of melancholia – not at all unpleasant and I suspect it will become all quite endearing and more durable than I feared on first listen. Bless the little blighters – now how about heading somewhere westward for a show or two?

MSC Myspace

MSC website

Stolen Recordings website

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