Captain Polaroid - Spitting Facts, Splitting Fractions

Benjamin Short 10/05/2005

Rating: 4/5

For those of you who value meaning above melody, this is an album which claims to draw upon such wide-ranging influences as Idlewild and The Postal Service, but ultimately reveals enough originality to outshine both. Captain Polaroid openly admits that he is no virtuoso instrumentalist, and this is an accurate, if somewhat harsh self-assessment. However, his acoustic guitar playing is passionate and lucid, and the buzzsaw powerchords and fuzzbox basslines of 'Your Mistake is Thinking That You Have Won' and 'Excuse After Excuse' are fascinating. At times, the Captain's sneering vocals echo those of Placebo's Brian Molko - It's up to you to decide if that's a compliment or an insult!

Songs called 'When a Flawless Plan turns into a Masterpiece of Total Disaster' and 'I Erased Myself to Make You Better, Shall We All Erase Ourselves?' recall The Smiths. Indeed, lyrics such as 'My death would cause hilarity / but hilarity is the antithesis of everything I am in life' (from 'On the Wall hangs a Broken Clock') are worthy of Morrissey himself. Captain Polaroid's lyrical obsessions (politics, wasted youth, and the body
beautiful) closely reflect those of the Manic Street Preachers. 'Yes' , a fragile, low-key song, is an instamatic number one hit for the future, and 'Call This a Democracy?' could not be more appropriate, as we wake on the dawn of Blair's Third Reich.

'Spitting Facts, Splitting Fractions' is the musical equivalent of organic food. So, if you like your tunes with added preservatives, artificial colours and flavouring, the new Coldplay album, 'X&Y' is available in all good record shops from June 6th. Otherwise, visit Captain Polaroid's website, and spend 2.50 on what is almost certainly the most honest and inspirational album you're likely to hear this year.