Kid Kapichi: “Things might get worse before they get better – but…

Get Down, for instance, is a gloriously energised banger that weaves threads of socio-economic discontent (‘5am and five per cent / And I don’t dare look at my bank account / How the hell am I gonna pay my rent?!’) around a vivid portrait of a Friday night on the town. Tamagotchi, named after the digital ‘pets’ so ubiquitous for ’90s kids, is a bittersweet nostalgic head-rush (‘Cat Deeley, SMTV, shouting bogies, doing wheelies’) dedicated to any listeners ‘staring down the barrel of the big three-oh’. Playful standout Subaru delivers absurdist lyrical fireworks, ‘Her brother drives a Subaru / Her dad’s a master in kung fu.’ Grungy, weirdo love-song Angeline sort of sounds like Soundgarden marinated in the salt air of England’s south coast, rather than the United States’ Pacific Northwest.

“Ben and I fell in love over The Libertines,” offers Jack. “We loved how they could have punk songs, ballads, heavier songs, whatever… We don’t want to be going at 100mph from the first track to the last. It’s important to have respite, not just for the listener but for us as writers and performers.”

“We’ve got the dark, intense edge,” nods Ben. “But we want the best parts of the other side, too.”

True to that, Can EU Hear Me? feels like the most positive response possible to the UK’s disastrous departure from the European Union, acknowledging the universality of their message for overseas audiences while also delivering an arms-aloft chorus – ‘Hallo! Bonjor! Ça va! / Adios! Au revoir! / Auf Wiedersehen mon frère / Enchanté! Ciao! Take care!’ – designed to be sung on the continent.

Gorgeous acoustic closer Jimi is a touching ode to their friend, The Riddles frontman and Hastings legend Jimi Riddle who died on February 12, 2012, and has received a statue in their hometown.

“He would have loved and hated that,” reckons Jack, fondly. “Well, he would have pretended to hate it. He was a geezer. I’ll always remember meeting him at a house party when I was 15. He came in five-foot-nothing with a six-pack, pork pie hat, skinny jeans and blunt fringe before getting out an ironing board, jumping on it and singing Surfin’ U.S.A. I was just like, ‘Who is this guy?!’ From then on, we were great friends. He was a beautiful character, but also a troubled guy who could never get everything to work at the same time, like someone not quite built for a planet like this.”

“He burned incredibly bright,” Ben adds. “He could really fill a room with his energy and spirit.”