Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes is an instrumental psychedelic progressive rock band from Sydney, proud as punch about their third EP, ‘Falsimiles From The Facts Machine’. The new record sees the band at their most frantic; their heaviest, loudest and fastest. A dense wall of panic recorded to tape and mixed at home.
The band started when founding members Phil McCourt and Alex O’Toole met in high school and spent a number of years jamming in small rooms with a series of collaborators, producing music under several monikers including Felonius Funk, Suspicious Fishes, Oyster Moisture and Dr. Gonzo. In 2005 the group solidified as a four piece (including bassist Hugh Munro - also of said high school) and set out into gigland under the name Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes. They recorded a four track EP -containing the prophetic instrumental ‘Nothing More Important’ as the closing track - and when their second singer in as many years disappeared, they scratched their heads and went back to jamming in small rooms.
Determined to continue the captain’s work, the band decided to press on regardless. Embracing their newfound instrumental-ness and general lack of vocal-ism, they tightened up their live act as well as developing their songwriting skills as an equal trio. Over a long run of gigs through Sydney pubs and clubs, adjectives like blues-rock and punk were gradually replaced with things like psychedelic, experimental and progressive until the band went back into the studio in late 2007 to record a self titled 7 track EP showcasing the change that had begun within camp Kickarse.
2008 and early 2009 saw Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes touring their self proclaimed instrumental psychedelic progressive rock to anyone that would listen. Gigs at the Gaelic Club, Annandale Hotel and Manning Bar; rave parties and warehouse doofs; an entire soundtrack for Channel 9 kids TV series Lab Rats Challenge; a tour up the coast to Brisbane and back; an authentic country-town-community-hall-mushroom-freak-out-party; the band’s sound evolved as they peddled their wares until they sold out of CDs and had to write a new one.
Thus Falsimiles From The Facts Machine. Written, performed, produced, mixed, designed, constructed and photographed entirely by the band, this new EP is a prime example of the fact that Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes are willing to put in the hard work. Launched to a steaming full house at Sydney’s Excelsior Hotel in November, the new record sparked a busy live schedule for the band including a 10pm mainstage slot at High & Dry Festival as well as an overfilled ‘back room’ set at the Annandale in early December.
Well received by community radio and crowds alike, the band is ecstatic with the response so far to their Facts Machine. But as always, the band looks to move forward. After the year’s end madness described above, the band hid from everything in small rooms on big hills to get their shit together for a new decade. Shit like demos for a new record, lullabies, pipe organs, and sessions for a future release of home recorded b-side material. The band and it’s members are increasingly involved in a number of side projects including Distant Fence and other collaborative recordings with other Sydney bands in and around the Bird’s Robe Collective. If anything in this world is definite, it’s this: there is a lot more music to come from Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes.
Phil McCourt - Guitar
Alex O'Toole - Drums
Hugh Munro - Bass
Self Titled EP '07
1. Dananah Dank Bedank
2. Esoteric Far Outcry Bench
3. The Decadent Deckhand
4. Sounds Like Ocean
5. Somethin' Bout a Wolf
6. The Lost Doctrine of Dr Phyviater Raveningsley
7. With a Whale In It
Falsimiles From The Facts Machine EP '09
1. Street Corner Mormons Dancing On Their Goat Feet
2. Always On Your Person
4. That Ole Chestnut
Non Practising Pagans B-Sides Vol 1. EP '10
1. Introducing the Moon
2. Laughin' on the Inside
3. Now Is The Time
4. The Importance of Good Posture
5. Two Minutes Yay
7. The Look
8. Bubonic Baker and his Quiet Apocalypse
9. Don't Wake Vincent
Captain at Bird's Robe Presents... (Live, Annandale Hotel Jan 2010)
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"....Complex and relentless thrash cascades are enlivened by tortured screams. Always pushing toward..."....Complex and relentless thrash cascades are enlivened by tortured screams. Always pushing towards higher energy, at times drawing back from chaos to a calmer order of heavy easy-listening. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already seen them play. If you haven’t, you should. People will be telling their grandchildren about this band and you want to get in quick before all the good stories are gone."
FBi Radio's Justin Zeltzer on EP 'Falsimiles From The Facts Machine"
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"Slotting Falsimilies From The Factsmachine into the CD player some weeks ago was the punch in the s..."Slotting Falsimilies From The Factsmachine into the CD player some weeks ago was the punch in the skinny jeans I'd been yearning for. It's the third EP from Sydney progfreaks Captain Kickarse and the Awesomes and it's choc full of chops, time signature changeups and drumming intensity......They're clearly not here to pose. They're shirtless, dreadlocked music nerds."
Review of Falsimiles From The Facts Machine
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"...it’s quite easy to find yourself immersed in this unique and exciting sound. Opening number Stre..."...it’s quite easy to find yourself immersed in this unique and exciting sound. Opening number Street Corner Mormons Dancing on Their Goat Feet is a solid introduction to the Kickarse (in more ways than one) sound with slicing guitar locking horns with thick, lucid bass patterns and a flow of pounding, shapeshifting drum fills and rhythms.
It’s effortlessly cool, and a treat to listen to – and that excitable feeling doesn’t drop for a second in the twenty-five minute entirety. With three of the EPs four tracks expanding beyond the five-minute region, each idea that the band flows into is given plenty of space to weave itself out – and ever the musical adventurers, the band don’t stick to anything to the point where it overstays its welcome."
Captain at Excelsior Hotel
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"On the surface they’re a simple guitar/bass/drums power trio, but the source of their Kickarse powe..."On the surface they’re a simple guitar/bass/drums power trio, but the source of their Kickarse power comes from their extremely delicate sense of how to make a groove grab you, and then how to craft a rhythmic riff at the end of it that picks you up and shakes you before entering the next groove. Their long instrumental pieces – punctuated by the occasional scream – were sometimes prog instrument mastery, sometimes psychedelic groove jam...the three beardy chaps who are Captain Kickarse & the Awesomes lived up to their name."
The Captain's setlist differs from night to night. Different combinations of any of the songs listed in the band's discography, new songs, extended jam versions and sometimes wholly improvised sets make every Captain gig a unique experience.