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Kid Kapichi – ‘Here's What You Could Have Won’ review: political reality within danceable punk

By Ben Massey | 05/10/2022

When Kid Kapichi started releasing singles for Here’s What You Could Have Won I was surprised by the speed of release given their last album was only released in late 2021. At first glance, I worried that they may have rushed the album, but I can say with confidence that nothing is rushed about it. As soon as I heard New England, featuring fellow political punk Bob Vylan, I was already invested in their upcoming project. This album is a bolder and more accessible take on their previous work and, honestly, it works incredibly well for them. There is still something so raw and catchy about Here’s What You Could Have Won, just like any Kid Kapichi track. This time they take danceability, politics and heart to another level: possibly an unusual mix you might say, but what’s not to love about a combination so ambitious?

Here’s What You Could Have Won is an extension of all of Kid Kapichi’s previous music – a working-class perspective of Great Britain and the politics we’re subjected to here. The song which hits the hardest is also the simplest and shortest on the album, called Party at No. 10. Anybody British here would agree that the past few years of politics in our country have been challenging. The people who lead the country only care about themselves and their fellow privileged counterparts. To sum it up, the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. Party at No. 10 is a song about the parties that the conservative party were having during our lockdowns in 2020. We had to isolate ourselves from our friends and families whilst those in charge were living it up as if nothing had changed. Party at No. 10 is about saying “fuck you” in the most playful way to those in charge.

Here’s What You Could Have Won is what we need right now, which I am sure is why Kid Kapichi chose to release this album now. People need to hear this album because it mentions so many of the societal issues that the UK faces now. Every song written tackles a specific problem. Take New England for example, a song about the prevalence of racism in the UK, or 5 Days On (2 Days off) which is about the negative effects of capitalism, particularly on the working class. It is a brilliant way to write a political album. We associate each song with a particular societal problem, and the fact that there are 11 big societal problems alone on this album creates an especially depressing overview for the UK. It highlights the need for change in the way that our country is run.

Some of my favourite songs on Here’s What You Could Have Won include I.N.V.U, Cops & Robbers and Smash the Gaff. All of these songs are fast-paced, punky and very bass heavy. I can’t help but compare these to the Nova Twins here. Many futuristic characteristics of a Nova Twins song are there, but they create something exciting and different to one another in their own ways. In Cops & Robbers, I also hear a lot of influence from Enter Shikari, particularly in the chorus, which is so surprising to me because of the stark contrast between Enter Shikari’s and Kid Kapichi’s musical styles – but all I want now is a collaboration between the two bands.

I also need to take a minute to mention Kid Kapichi’s music videos for this album. They are iconic. They poke fun at the very serious things that they talk about in their songs. Lyrically in Rob the Supermarket they talk about, you guessed it, robbing the supermarket, but I think it means so much more than that. I think it acts as a metaphor for the British government and how they are robbing society of everything it has left. The line “well if you think that I’m a monster you should meet my friends” is the perfect analogy for that. As soon as we manage to remove one of the Tories from power, in comes another one who’s worse, and the cycle continues. However, in the music video, they jokingly rob a supermarket, in the most ‘Kid Kapichi’ way possible.

I would strongly recommend anybody to check out this album, it’s fun, politically driven and just a great listen overall. Kid Kapichi are also one of the best bands to see live, so get your tickets next time they come to your city to see them play all these songs in person.


Edited by: Roxann Yus

Photos taken by: Ben Massey

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