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The Roots guitarist “Captain” Kirk Douglas announces new album, New Unknown, premieres hard-riffing single, Over The Ocean

A seated "Captain" Kirk Douglas holds his signature Gibson SG
(Image credit: Alexander Fischetti)

Earlier this month, "Captain" Kirk Douglas, electric guitar player for hip-hop legends the Roots, released a new single under the Hundred Watt Heart moniker, We Can Be One. A cinematic, 7/8 cocktail of funky rhythm work and syncopated wah stabs, it's one of the best guitar tracks we've heard thus far in September.

Now, Douglas has followed up that single with Over The Ocean, a world-weary rocker that would sound much more at home on a Foo Fighters record than a Roots LP, and shows the SG-wielding six-stringer's riff-writing talent. 

The riff in question is certainly the main attraction, but Over The Ocean also has an understated but perfect-for-the-situation solo, with some sweet displays of vibrato. You can hear the song below.

“It’s a groove-heavy rock song where the guitar takes up more sonic real estate,” Douglas said of Over The Ocean in a statement. “It talks about the bombardment of social media and how confusion can happen from it. Of course, we can all be connected through social media, but it can also distort reality. 

"I’ve had so many conversations with people my age about the beauty of time before all of it. It’s important to maintain a part of your life that’s not social media-centric.”

In tandem with the release of Over The Ocean, Douglas also announced a new Hundred Watt Heart album, New Unknown, which is set for release on November 4.

New Unknown is the follow-up to 2019's Turbulent Times. In the time between the two Hundred Watt Heart albums, Douglas also joined forces with Gibson to create a new signature guitar, a triple-humbucker SG.

Available in Inverness Green and Ebony finishes, the guitar features a signature ‘Captain’ Lyre Tail Vibrola tailpiece and coil-splittable third volume control.

For more on the guitar, and Douglas's other non-Roots projects, visit Hundred Watt Heart's website (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.