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Album Review: Right Away, Great Captain! - The Church Of The Good Thief

The best things come in three's. From the on screen antics of Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones trilogy to the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy on the Playstation 1, even De La Soul heralded that three is "The Magic Number". It is with the third Right Away, Great Captain! release "The Church Of The Good Thief" that Andy Hull's cinematic trilogy comes to a sombre close; the beautifully painted artwork even aptly portrays a funeral at sea.

So where were we when we left the full time frontman for Manchester Orchestra in "The Eventually Home"? His character had returned from sea (as told in "The Bitter End") to find his wife cheating on him with his own brother, despite his intent to kill her, in the heat of the moment he kills his brother and leaves his wife watching. The first song from the album "Blame" details how the murder was heard by a nearby farmers wife and, though not described, it's implied that he is sentenced to death.

Instrumentally, Hull doesn't stray away from the sparse route he's taken on prior efforts, this time he restricts himself to piano and guitar however to emulate the confinement of his character in a prison cell. "We Were Made Out of Lightning" is one of the darkest songs on the record, featuring a droning guitar accompanied by Hull's reverb heavy vocals, as well as backing vocals provided by Colour Revolt's Jesse Coppenbarger. Hull's shackles, in comparison to Manchester Orchestra's "Simple Math", may seem like a blessing in disguise however as he's used it as a way to evaluate his songwriting and write his most cohesive effort to date.

It's evident that this record is more about the storytelling lyrics themselves rather than the music. Hull's references to prior albums will make this one to spin several times to take in the full story, with the ghost of the captain from "The Bitter End" even making a return. Thematically, it feels as if this album gradually gets darker with each track as Hull's character slowly draws closer to his death, finally reflecting upon his life before his death in "Memories From The End Part 2" with "Now I am shown the treacherous pains to become something old / redemption thats freed the burden from me".


"The Church Of The Good Thief" is out June 12th

George Gadd

Alter The Press!