The sun has set and the streetlights are aglow in a city that never sleeps.
Wide-eyed by booze and foolish youth, you stumble into a room – dimly lit and reeking of vices.
You descend multiple floors connected by a neverending spiral staircase and the strobing lights and pounding music begin to attack your senses.
Lighting up the synapses in your brain all at once like a suburban street during Christmas – all you can think to do is… dance.
This is how Synthtech feels.
Capt’n Trips and The Kid’s soundscape mainly revolves around the serpentine lyricism and ravenous growl of psychedelic rock music created by the archetypal jaded adolescents with a need to stick it to the man.
But after a sluggish couple of years made snail-crawlingly slow by the effects of the pandemic, the band has shifted to a more upbeat and optimistic sound abundant with jazz and electrofunk while staying true to their psychedelic roots.
Synthtech is an 11-track assemblage of groovy, foot-tapping tunes that integrate the sexiness of bossa nova and the kookiness of early 2000s electro.
Alive through the pulse injected by drummer, Omar Aiman and percussionist, Jes Ebrahim which are championed by the synths from Uzayr Khalid that pervade the entire record, Synthtech is Capt’n Trips and The Kid’s antidote to a dull party in need of uppers.
Opening with ‘Jack Smack’ that has a guitar lick that will get you off your ass and onto the dance floor, it transitions to the ‘King of Chavs’ that kicks off with lead vocalist, Jes Ismael’s best chav impression (also see: Sid Vicious on ‘No Fun’) despite the track sounding like you discovered an underground jazz gig.
The quintessential track off the record, ‘Oostadarab’ comes next and it perfectly embodies the band’s new shift in tone.
Cheekily juxtaposing what sounds like the call to prayer with a hedonistic combination of hypnotic synths and reverberating drums – it’s the band’s track equivalent to their far-out personalities.
Combining Turkish influences into ‘CDTH’ before slowing the party down with the instrument-driven intermission ‘Somewhere’, the band continues to ride the waves of a hallucinogenic-high made smooth by rhythm guitarist, Sean Totten before crescendoing into the head-bobbing melodies of ‘Tilting At Windmills’, ‘HMN Emotion’ and ‘Be Around The Bend’.
The band has previously cited Tame Impala as one of their musical inspirations and it’s never more evident in ‘Project Uno’ that incorporates dreamy vocals akin to that of Kevin Parker and thumping bass by Yaqub Zulkifli.
Synthtech concludes with the two most lyrically-infused tracks ‘Hi Rise’ and ‘The Hardest Pill To Swallow’ which are two highly-contrasting songs with the former being sinister and the latter being sweet with youthful optimism.
As the band sings, “I can’t keep waging wars with the past of all things”, ‘The Hardest Pill To Swallow’ signals a brighter, technicoloured voyage that throws the weights of adolescent angst and rebellious rage overboard.
Listen to the full album below:
In times when growing apprehensions of the current state of the world fill our heads like incessant noise, it’s great to have records like Synthtech that can pierce through it all and provide an ephemeral, yet welcomed relief.
Capt’n Trips and The Kid consists of Jes Ismael (lead vocals/guitar), Jes Ebrahim (percussion), Yaqub Zulkifli (bass), Sean Totten (rhythm guitar), Uzayr Khalid (synths) and Omar Aiman (drums). Keep up with them here.