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PropertyOfZack Review : : Right Away, Great Captain!


The story unfolds with the greatest of ease. The narrator spins a tale of a young man, toiling away on a wooden vessel, sailing into the great unknown, hoping for the grandest of hauls. All the while, his vigilant wife tends to his home, her oath of fidelity testing her fortitude, challenging her heart. Her bed never empty, despite her husband working so far off at sea; his brother’s blood, her miserable secret. Waiting, wondering, and wasting away all that they hold dear…and so goes Right Away, Great Captain!’s story of betrayal and sorrow. Themes of heartbreak, denial, anguish, and anger permeate the chapters of Andy Hull’s grand bargain with the literary gods. And as his final chapter, The Church of the Good Thief, is upon us, listeners and readers alike are reminded that Hull’s side project is much more than just a musical endeavor. 

Right Away, Great Captain! is a stark departure from Hull’s primary focus, Manchester Orchestra. Abandoning the lush instrumentations, aggressive vocal delivery, and bashing structures for a stripped down, earthy, visceral presentation, Right Away, Great Captain! explores a different aspect of Hull’s imagination. Over the course of three albums (2007’s The Bitter End and 2008’s The Eventually Home preclude this offering), Hull has told a tale of a 17th century sailor whose wife cheats on him with his own brother as he is off at sea. And so this review is not so much a keen evaluation of the music but rather a delicate summarization of the story. 

Unique and passionate, The Church of the Good Thief continues the gentle aura of Right Away’s previous two chapters. This chapter deals with the acceptance and repercussions of the protagonist’s actions (although, in an effort to keep the details of the story elusive, only the overall themes of the story shall be mentioned henceforth). Simple guitars, gorgeously gentle melodies, and the occasional ring of a piano highlight Hull’s subtle vocal delivery: all of this in an effort to shine the spotlight firmly on Hull’s brilliant lyricism, the best of his career. Each song, chronologically mixed, serves as another wooden beam in Hull’s ocean-view house. It takes a acute ear and a certain persistence to let Right Away, Great Captain!’s genius become apparent.

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