Applicants - Escape from Kraken Castle - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Applicants - Escape from Kraken Castle

by Rich Morris Rating:3 Release Date:2010-06-07

When one encounters an album containing songs called things like 'Tesco Metro Disco', 'Obey Ebay' and 'Since Porn Took Over the World', it's natural for one's innate 'naff joke song' alarm bell to start going off like a klaxon. This turns out to not quite to be the case on Escape from Kraken Castle, although much of what is on offer is ultimately just as wearying, being the kind of constantly mugging, attention-seeking punk-pop that, unless you happen to be a hyperactive 12-year-old with ADD, is best enjoyed in very small doses.

Opening track 'Tesco Metro Disco' is the best here, with both its title and jerky synth-pop-punk recalling early Bis and 'Popscene'-era Blur. Its closing zombie chant of "Tesco Metro" is exactly the kind of weird, silly fun you want from a song like this. From here, however, thing go a downhill. 'Evelyn Waugh' sounds like the proposed theme tune to a Disney Channel cartoon about the eponymous satirical novelist. The aforementioned 'Since Porn Took Over the World' is nothing more than a pathetic nudge-nudge song. Unforgivably, it's not in the slightest bit funny. Also slotting snugly in the 'bloody awful' category is the sea-shanty-via-classic metal of 'The Darien'. Quite why anyone would actually want to hear such an abomination is frankly beyond Soundblab's comprehension.

Elsewhere, things are a little better. 'Schoolchildren of Japan' and 'Cold War in Reverse' work thanks solely to the sheer gonzo assault of the music. 'Treble 20', a fun little song about loving darts, is at least different and even a bit endearing since it sounds so heartfelt. 'They Wrote Gone Fishing on His Grave', meanwhile, is a genuinely interesting instrumental which mixes ambient sounds with mournful folk guitar and discordant harmonica.

You soon realise that the secret to enjoying this album is to make a conscious effort to ignore the lyrics, which surely defeats the point? When you do bother to take in what's being sung, you're confronted with something along the lines of "Hey, thanks for coming/ I hope you wipe your pants when you leave" from 'Packing Up'. If you're sniggering right now, then guess what? Escape from Kraken Castle is the album for you. Otherwise, you'll probably share Soundblab's view that this album is little more than a not-very-funny joke that got out of hand.

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