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My Captain
New Amusement My Captain
Released 8 October 2010
Producer Shane Cullen
Label Any Other City Records
Length 37:52
Genre Indie
Website myspace.com/newamusement

The album art, a photo of Third World kids on bikes, echoes that of Embrace’s 'All You Good Good People'; and like that strident gem, New Amusement’s My Captain catches the listener by the ears from the outset. Opener 'Jamboree' approaches like a freight train before erupting into the kind of ecstatic guitar chorals that The Arcade Fire are famed for. A good start capitalised upon by the following 'In Patient Flight' with its galloping drums. Then, after that opening salvo, comes the feline and secretive 'Volga Tattered Steps' (which is also a wonderful song title), before 'Fiction' billows magnificently out of the speakers, brazen, confident, and certain. By this stage the inclination is to see them live and 'Gone To Sea' transforms this inclination into desire by allowing its open, chanting riff to build into a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

In a nutshell, this album is a fine piece of work. Only the punky and weak 'Hunting and Husbandry' provides a notable blemish, but it can be ignored when set beside 'Picture On The Wall' (which has evolved from The Arcade Fire, and U2 at their most expansive). The skiffling drums and sparkling guitars of 'An Edge Over Water' beguiles only for that skiffling to return boasting in 'Headboard'. The penultimate track, 'Vandals', has a sparse, pounding beat akin to 'The Slits'; but New Amusement have saved their best ‘til last. 'Winter 1908' presents itself gracefully, rises and falls like a sea-swell, and leaves, exiting on a two minute fade-out of echoing static that manages to sound elegant and bewitching. It encourages the listener to follow it; a siren song indeed.

New Amusement: These guys deserve to be listened to.

- Paul McGranaghan