Saturday, 6 July 2013

Late Cambrian - Peach

Album review by

Knowing that Late Cambrian are from Brooklyn hardly makes it a shock to find that their music is another hybrid of their particular favourite cuts from the world of alternative/indie music. In this instance they use The Strokes, Phoenix, Elliot Smith and Arctic Monkeys as reference points, and traces of all can be found here. Now, all of those bands have enjoyed commercial success, but none are what you would generally regard as being commercial in sound, and this is where Late Cambrian are often a little different. In taking a more mainstream approach for some songs they may lose fans who prefer their music that bit more edgy, but they will get a better chance at perhaps cracking through the barrier and going on to sell a lot of records. Their songs have already been used on US TV shows, so you have to say the plan is working.

It does mean that we have songs like 'The Label Needed A Single' which is the epitome of landfill indie/pop. Whether or not the label really did need a single or whether the band are simply being ironic in giving that title to one of their most clearly mainstream songs we can't tell you. But it'll be a skip button job for anyone wanting their more alternative sound, and 'Recipe', although it has a certain charm, doesn't fare much better. You do get the impression that Late Cambrian aren't quite sure themselves about what course to take, and so are trying several, hoping that they strike gold with one of them to act as future guidance. 'The Year I Cut The Cable' and 'Ryan Gosling' are like diluted Strokes songs and 'Made For Love' begins like one before attempting something more grand and sweeping, but it ends up more ELO than Arcade Fire. Still, it's not a bad tune and shows ambition at least.

The mix of electro-pop and guitar-pop on 'Lover's Point' is a decent enough song, much like 'Patience On A Monument' but they need a couple more tracks that are better than decent. There are an awful lot of fair-to-middling guitar-pop songs. The near indiepop of 'The Wolf' is quite nice, as is 'Resolution' and also 'HypGnotica/Afternoon Special'; the stripped-back 'Poetry' isn't a bad track, in fact none of the songs are particularly bad, everything really hinges on your stance on deliberately commercial sounding music. 'Flowers From Anonymous' or 'Luddite' won't find much love from the indie crowd. If you don't have a problem then 'Peach' is a reasonable album with a few high points and a few songs that aren't really worth revisiting. What music should always come down to is whether or not it sounds good, not its sales potential or whether the person singing it wrote the bloody thing. And as far as 'Peach' goes, well, it sounds OK.

Late Cambrian's website

Stream or buy the album

Catch them live:

Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 10:30pm in EDT
Spike Hill, Brooklyn, New York

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