Sam Duckworth has been busy doing everything but making a new Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly record in the last couple of years. Since 2010’s self-titled record, Duckworth has put out a solo record, been involved with the Occupy movement and helped clean London up after the riots. At least all this activity and activism didn’t leave him short of inspiration. ‘Maps’ is the fourth album from Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly and it draws directly from this period in lyricist and front-man Sam Duckworth’s life. Whilst the solo effort from last year was a more sombre affair, Maps has a party atmosphere and will be more familiar listening to long time fans of the band.
The album has a raucous, party-like atmosphere from the get-go as it explodes into life with ‘The Real McCoy,’ an ambient sing along with a frankly massive, sleazy riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Kasabian record. Following on from this is the jazz-inspired Vital Statistics which bounds into the impossibly happy ‘Daylight Robbery,’ a real party track and a highlight of the album. It is a song of celebration and one that would rival Frank Turner for sing along value.
Describing the record as upbeat does not discount the serious political issues that ‘Maps’ touches upon. Politically aware lyrics have always been a trademark of Duckworth and they again permeate this record. Slower and more reflective tracks like ‘London’s Burning’ showcase this. With a Clash-referencing title, it shows the punk tradition that resides at the heart of this record and exposes Duckworth’s love/hate relationship with UK politics and political activism. There is a despondency with apathy in politics too in ‘Offline Maps’ but there is a resolve to be optimistic as Duckworth sings ‘But here I do promise; To keep faith in the promise, that change is still possible and that nothing’s impossible.’ Ultimately, this record has an uplifting and positive message.
Get Cape’s sound has always been in flux, somewhere between pop and punk with hints of hip-hop, blues and jazz all evident on this record. The tongue-in-cheek ‘Call of Duty’ (written about someone erasing a video game save file) is proof of this. Electronic samples mix with blues-y guitars and drumbeat, with Sam’s mellow voice adding another soulful layer. An appearance from hip-hop artist Jehst in The Long And Short Of It All adds another dimension to this eclectic record.
Lyrically, the album is strong. The words are always earnest and following a punk tradition and the music draws upon a range of influences to create an engaging and inspiring collection of songs reflecting a great artist.
An album of pertinent social commentary, but also a brilliant set of songs.
‘Maps’ by Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is available now on Cooking Vinyl.
Words by Tom White