I’ve been following the work of Sam Duckworth, aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, since around the time of his debut album, Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager in 2006, and that record has been one I’ve gone back to on a regular basis ever since.
I’ve also enjoyed Searching For The Hows and Whys and Get Cape’s self titled album as well as Sam’s solo record The Mannequin, but none had quite lived up to the debut.
I’m happy to say, however, that, while it will take time to see if Maps becomes as long-lived to me as his debut, it is a great album and marks a decided progression in Get Cape’s sound.
The Real McCoy, which opens the record, highlights this sonic development as we are introduced to the off to an electric guitar based almost indie rock version of Get Cape compared to his more acoustic guitar and sequenced drum based work of old.
This track also seems designed to win me over in that with its talk of “smart marks” and carnival fighters it is clearly influenced by Sam’s much professed love of pro-wrestling (and even has a video featuring a pair of pro-wrestlers).
This more overdriven guitar based indie rock style continues to be a part across most of the record, however, there is a lot more besides with the sequenced drums of old and the acoustic guitar still present as well as veering back into more light hip-hop and trip-hop and electronic inflected sounds.
While in the hands of some mashing up quite as many musical styles would leave an album feeling disjointed throughout this is unmistakably a Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. album as the issues dealt with and the lyrics are just as important to the finished work as the music.
Since his first album Get Cape has always looked at both issues of personal identity in the wider world and societal and political concerns. As he has, over the past year, become one of the more involved musicians in the Occupy movement I expected the political and anti-capitalist ideas to come to the fore more here than they did, and I’ll admit I was glad they weren’t so pronounced.
That’s not to say they aren’t there as album closer London’s Burning, Daylight Robbery, The Joy of Stress and Easy (Complicated) do all deal with the anti-capitalist themes, but they all do so in a way which is not hectoring in the way that many ‘protest songs’ are and is generally upbeat, which makes a nice change.
Alongside these are the songs that deal with identity issues and it is clear from these that Get Cape is no longer the Bohemian Teenager of old as his outlook has developed and matured, while not falling into the trap of becoming complacent, which its nice to see in a world where so many musicians are becoming increasingly ‘safe’.
So in the end Maps is a great album that marks, if not a new direction, then a real development for Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly that show great promise for the future as well.