Right Away, Great Captain!: The Eventually Home

Music Reviews Right Away Great Captain
Right Away, Great Captain!: The Eventually Home

Andy Hull does the nautical gnash

Concept albums are tricky beasts. While centering an entire work on one subject might result in a timeless masterpiece like Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the project could also potentially slide into Chris Gaines-ville with just a few wrong turns of the rudder.

Although Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull’s conceptual solo outings—under the name Right Away, Great Captain!—may not be as world-shattering as Aeroplane, his chronologically-arranged tale of a cuckolded 17th-century sailor who slowly goes insane is compelling in a wretched, rubbernecking sort of way. The Eventually Home, the second album in a planned trilogy, veers away from the low-fi production of 2006’s The Bitter End (to be fair, Hull sequestered himself in a hundred-year-old log cabin to record the former album).

The unnamed sailor at the center of the drama—as voiced by Hull—seems to have much in common with the Conor Oberst who emo-screamed his wounded guts out on Fevers and Mirrors, inasmuch as both are preoccupied with imperfect women, fractured families, shattered illusions, and the steps one takes to rectify (or avenge) a devastating betrayal.

The rage bleeds through in the growling cadences of the agonizingly slow “I Am A Vampire” and “Father Brian Finn,” but Hull’s estimable fingerpicked-guitar work rings like golden bells throughout The Eventually Home. The sparkling self-harmonies charm, even as the lyrics detail murderous plans and “realizing your bride’s a whore.”

Whether Right Away, Great Captain!’s protagonist treads his way out of the saltwater eddy of doubt or drowns in his own despair remains to be seen. Meanwhile, listeners should have at least a few months to mull over their own interpretations of his unenviable dilemma before Hull records and releases the final chapter in the seafarer’s saga.

Listen to Right Away, Great Captain! on the band’s MySpace page.

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