A portrait of pessimism, envy + despair...but with heart
Emily Swingle
13:59 22nd September 2022

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Kid Kapichi are back with a consolation prize for the British public: Here’s What You Could Have Won is a sharp-tongued dose resentment, a spiteful love-letter addressed to a Britain that was never truly Great. With just as much venom as their snarling 2021 debut, the poised punks have struck gold once again on their sophomore release.

Lyrically, Kid Kapichi hold back no punches. Right out the gates, opener ‘New England’ is a tongue-in-cheek dissection of British nationalism, every line sharper and more scathing than the last (may we take a moment to wince at just how relevant “looks at us, queueing up / so formal!” is right now?). Bob Vylan’s feature only adds to the bitter irony of the track, tackling themes of war crimes and the price of bacon butties with equal levels of importance. 

‘New England’ sets the tone for the rest of the record. With a seed of anger planted within you, everything that follows only encourages it to root, to slowly germinate into something more ferocious. Tracks like ‘Rob The Supermarket’ and ‘I.N.V.U’ set the rage ablaze, Kid Kapichi’s riling brand of beat punk is sickeningly cool. The distorted rumbling of ‘Smash The Gaff’ leaves you wanting to kick down doors, while ‘Cops & Robbers’ channels all that rage into something charged yet danceable as Ben Beetham howls “the volcano lying dormant will always erupt.”

Alongside the barrage of poised punk bangers, ‘Party At No. 10’ is a brilliant dose of sonic irony. Serving as a gentle acoustic number, floating in a haze of light charm, the message is drowning in fury, condemning the hypocrisy of those in Downing Street. “Don’t get excited, you’re not invited…one rule for you and another for them,” Beetham croons as the delicate guitar rings out. The track is gloriously bittersweet, truly highlighting Kid Kapichi’s ability to master blisteringly cool punk anthems as well as stripped back ballads.

In fact, two of the album’s stand-out tracks thrive in that same gentle, indie-tinged vulnerability. Tackling themes outside of the album’s usual sociopolitical discourse, ‘Never Really Had You’ is undeniably the most gorgeous track Kid Kapichi have penned to date; quietly heartwrenching, the eulogy of a love gone cold overflows with sentiment as it slowly unravels. Closing track ‘Special’ is equally as powerful in its softer sound, feeling very much like a track that would play over the ending credits of a heartfelt indie movie; its cinematic, bittersweet musings are poignant, serving up a sense of sorrow that fizzles in your bones.

Here’s What You Could Have Won is a portrait of pessimism, envy and despair...but it also has a lot of heart. While this is a release driven by a bruisingly slick punk attitude, Kid Kapichi have also managed to craft an album that feels incredibly human. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll get rightfully pissed off — so get stuck in. 

Here's What You Could Have Won arrives 23 September via Spinefarm.

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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Photo: Press