Late Cambrian – Golden Time

late cambrian JP shot 2

Our introduction to US indie rock band Late Cambrian came with their Social Season EP and became a lustful attraction through second album Peach, a release offering a thrilling dance of vibrant personality with matching sounds and imagination. It was an encounter of at times stunning brilliance within a constantly refreshing and warm temptation which stirred up the passions within seconds of contact. Now the band returns with its successor Golden Time, a release bred from the same eclectic invention and making a potent first impression, but working with a slower more sultry seduction and smouldering pop vivacity reaches the same captivating heights. The album reveals another leap in songwriting and sound maturity without relinquishing the bands almost mischievous use of hooks and melodic grooves. It takes its time to reveal all its depths but Golden Time emerges as another irresistible proposition from the Brooklyn quartet.

Late Cambrian has continued to make impressive marks from debut album The Last Concert released in 2011, onwards. Their Social Season EP of the following year raised the bar and bred one of their most successful and greedily devoured songs to date, Ryan Gosling. It was with Peach though that John N Wlaysewski (lead vocals, guitars, synth, percussion), Nunzio Moudatsos (bass, backing vocals), and Olive ‘O’ Hui (vocals, synth) sparked a much stronger and global spotlight. Now with the addition of drummer Alex to its line-up, the band offers a new tantalising treat with Golden Time. The band has often been compared to Wheatus, who Late Cambrian are touring the UK and Europe with as this review is posted, but the new album shows a unique and distinctive bloom to its summery sound and presence, which flourishes in that maturity spoken off earlier.

The PledgeMusic funded release opens with an immediately enthralling and virulently infectious Throwing Shade. As soon as guitar stabs, with a tone quite distinctive to the band, crosses ears there is a warm glow in emotions and imagination bred from past experiences with Late Cambrian’s invention. There is the quirky manner and enterprise which fuelled the last album on immediate show but also a melodic elegance and relish which provides new scenery to indulge in. The welcoming and harmonically bracing vocals of Wlaysewski backed by Moudatsos and O, embrace like an old friend but again with a new hue to their enterprise and stature. It is a thrilling entrance which the song reinforces across its length with a transfixing wash of radiant keys and punchy rhythms, but it is the Steely Dan like caress, vocally and musically, which steals the deal.

The following title track is no less compelling and invigorating. Electronic pulses lead to a coaxing guitar twang, which in turn moves into a bold stride of crisp rhythms across rich and magnetic melodies. The song’s title fits the sound Golden Time album Artworkwithin it perfectly, the duet of vocals between Wlaysewski and O as seductive and bright as the feisty pop melodies dancing around them. Again there is a contagion to the song which is inescapable for ears and an energy enslaving feet but it is its melodic swing that ignites another hungry urge in an already keen appetite.

Illamasqua swiftly installs its insatiable persuasion next, rhythms and vocals the prime lure initially, before the song slips into a tenacious stride of jabbing beats and lively yet sultry keys. As with many songs on the album, there is an instant familiar breath and touch to it which by the close you realise is simply from the band having their own distinct sound and presence. Also noticeable is that the song hints it has a fire to expel but instead remains in its enjoyable smouldering. This happens a few times across Golden Times and though at times you wonder how things would go if the band had ignited that extra mystery spark, the album flourishes in its inventively controlled and imaginative calm.

Both Game Show and Now keep the creative and appealing flames in ears and emotions sizzling. The first is a gentle canter of a song with potent and varied vocals against eclectic melodies and unpredictable endeavour, all flirting around a deliciously throaty bassline, whilst the second flows with a slow seducing of mellow yet vivacious vocals within a web of sharp hooks aligned to wispy blues kissed melodies. Though neither quite grips the heights of certainly the opening pair of tracks, both shine with a blaze of charm and bold imagination before making way for the thrilling romp of Objects May Appear. Big riffs and beats dance with ears straight away, their tango irresistible and only enhanced with the joining of similarly jaunty vocals from the band in turn. There is no escape for body, voice, and emotions to the album’s anthemic lure, the track a beguiling and fascinating stomp taking best song honours.

DYBIL with its crystaline melodies alongside riveting vocals and harmonies, provides a powerful romance for ears and senses to immerse in and passions to grow for whilst the following acoustic hug of the emotive Montauk simply whisks the imagination off on a seductive waltz to leave satisfaction brimming. Both reveal more of the evolution in, and growth of, enterprise and songwriting within the band before Shiny Cars brings the album to a healthy close. The outstanding final song has a thick and heavy resonance absent from much of what came before which again only offers another enjoyable shade to the album, whilst it’s gentler but lively vocals and melodic adventure only declares that this is a band coming of age.

There is no go for the jugular stand-out on Golden Time, no jaw dropper like Ryan Gosling or Wolf, but every track has a body and heart which outshines plenty of Late Cambrian’s impressive catalogue and combine for the band’s finest moment yet. For beautifully sculpted and dramatically radiant rock pop it is hard to think of many better offerings this year than Golden Times.

Golden Time will be available in November, for more details and remaining dates on their tour with Wheatus and  MC Frontalot go to http://www.latecambrian.com/

https://www.facebook.com/LateCambrian

RingMaster 17/10/2014

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Late Cambrian: Social Season EP

The Social Season EP from US indie pop band Late Cambrian, is one of those releases you cannot help becoming enamoured with, its vibrant and excitable pop heart a smiling and infectious tease. The EP offers up five songs which ooze eighties new wave and melodic pop flavourings within the mischievous personality of a Weezer. It makes for in Late Cambrian, a band which you feel you already know as a friend before even the end of the first song and a companion to bring out the inner smile.

The Brooklyn band were formed by ex- Flying Machines and The Attorneys, John N. Wlaysewski (guitar, vocals, songwriter) who alongside drummer Colin Schiller began recording their debut album The Last Concert in early 2011. During working on the songs the band saw the addition of O (synth, backing vocals), her glowing voice enhancing some of the later songs recorded. By late March the same year, the band made their live debut with bassist Nunzio Moudatsos (A Crimson Affair) also on board. Social Season is the first release with the full line-up and probably the first enterprising introduction for many to the fun sounds of Late Cambrian, but better late than never.

The opening track Ryan Gosling has already garnered good acclaim and responses as the first single from the release across the US and beyond. The song drives a thumping beat through the ear guided by contagious riffs and jangling melodies which only ensure eager attention. Once the shining harmonies and warm vocals play within the sounds the pull is irresistible and openly anthemic, defying all not to join in with the simple chants and chorus. To be honest like all the songs, it does not try to bend boundaries or break out into new inventive realms for indie pop, but certainly makes finding many rivals in the deep contagion stakes difficult.

The following Trash Show has a slight punk swagger to its boisterous presence to bring a mix of Arctic Monkeys, King Prawn, and Presidents of The USA. As the guitars twist and flash across the ear and the vocals coax the senses into further addiction, the song is like an old friend returning home. The sounds and energy of the track is instantly recognisable but equally and immediately fresh and rewarding, indie pop punk at its best.

Already on a high the EP gets even better with Song 11, an enthused stomp which ignites all the primal rhythms and melodic passions within. The Monkees meets Blink 182 with Maximo Park for company, the song is a pulsating and riotous thrill which has an insatiable hunger to exhaust the senses and bring the heart to a climax. As before the song has one accompanying its voice and limbs thrashing to the wonderful discord which spices the guitars and boisterous energy. The combination of Wlaysewski and O when they come together is stunning and in general the harmonies are delicious. The song also features a solo from Brendan Brown of the band Wheatus which only ignites further enjoyment.

Hand Stamp reins in the energies a touch but still is a feast of melodic joy, the bass pulsating besides the air heating slices of guitar and vocal harmonic elegance. The track does not quite have the pulse rate soaring as previous songs but its warmth and sweet taste is a rewarding dessert to what came before.

Social Season ends with the instrumental Saint James, a track which probably means a lot to the band but is a little lost on others. It is a great piece of music skilfully presented but does not fit with what went before so feels ultimately like a filler. It does have a departure of sound which opens some different anticipation to things in the future from the band though to be honest.

Late Cambrian is one of those bands we all need, fun, excitable, and able to put a smile on the face with  richly pleasing and open infectious sounds.

http://www.latecambrian.com/

Ringmaster 22/08/2012

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