It seems strangely appropriate that this year sees Batman rise again in The Dark Knight Rises motion picture and Sam Duckworth’s Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly project releases its fourth LP, Maps. Duckworth coined this moniker from a video game article about the caped crusader, therefore during a parallel to Gotham City’s misunderstood protector and his own project reappearing from the shadows. As when any superhero re-emerges from the obscurity, GCWCF has come back with a utility belt packed with new gadgets and a rekindled confidence to save us from a despondent and dejected society.
It’s evident from the very beginning that this is a rebooted GCWCF, as opening track ‘The Real McCoy’ boasts a full band set up as opposed to the laptop infused digi-folk that made Duckworth his name back in 2004. This natural evolution suits Duckworth well as the organic arrangements breathes new life into all aspects of GCWCF. ‘The Real McCoy’ is full rock ‘n’ roll swagger with gang chanted vocals proving Duckworth hasn’t lost any of his anthemic spirit during his down time. The same can be said for ‘Daylight Robbery’ (check out the video above) which is hurried along by a fuzzed up bassline and urgent cymbal rushes. With a track title such as this, it comes as no surprise that the lyrical content leans towards holding a mirror up to the current economic climate as Duckworth declares three cheers to an insolvent financial system. Even through the infectious ‘Ooooos’ the barbed message of a broken monetary structure rings true. You can always count on GCWCF to supply a certain tongue in cheek social commentary to his musical wares.
‘Maps’ manages to incorporate the full band arrangement of new and the electronic indebted direction of the past well. ‘Call Of Duty’ is a document of the latter with Duckworth reflecting on having to start again with a clean slate with the choice lyric of ‘I felt like l could win the battle/ I felt like I could win the war/Now I’m on the back foot/When I was at the front door”. There are similar moments on Maps where Duckworth recognises a negative situation but instead of wallowing in despair, looks upon this as an opportunity to approach life as a blank canvas, as you are the master of your own destiny. The tender ‘Offline Maps’ works as a new age hymn looking back over the past decade, recognising that life has taken a dramatic turn for the worst, but even with a wrecked social order, a dwindling fiscal system and general unrest, all is not lost. Duckworth proclaiming that he will vow to keep a promise to himself and his peers “Here I do promise/to keep faith in the promise/that change is still possible and nothings impossible”. ‘Offline Maps’ begins in a tender fashion, the aforementioned call to arms concludes with a heroic finale built around cavernous drums and a wall of noise.
Maps requests a reaction as its not an album to shy away from asking questions or to point the finger at problem areas of our lives. Luckily the album never sounds preachy or convoluted. It is a well executed LP from an artist that has recaptured his earlier magic and is unafraid to express that a change needs to happen.
With Gotham City looking to the heavens to see the bat signal illuminated against the gloomy grey clouds, our heads will also gaze skyward as the GCWCF signal beckons back Duckworth to save us from a faltering way of life.