Late Cambrian - Social Season
We are living in an interesting age, where the old standbys at major labels are (just getting older and) sounding more and more tired, while all of the fresh, tasty music is bubbling through the underground. Take Brooklyn-based indie band Late Cambrian, which is busting its collective hump, whipping out charming pop ditties as though destined for chart-topping greatness. "Social Season" has the giddy, musical effect of butterflies in your stomach when you are coasting down a steep hill.
The band seriously swings for the fences on every song, making a studious effort to avoid falling into "filler" doldrums and keeping the energy level at "11" through the entire disc. I don't know if Late Cambrian is a band trapped out-of-time or if it simply has an ironclad reverence for the 80s and 90s pop sound. In all seriousness, Late Cambrian could very well be a next-generation Madness meets ABC by way of Blink 182.
Although "Social Season" is merely a five-song EP, it progresses as though you are listening to a ‘greatest hits' album. Late Cambrian is gifted with having an almost learned ability to create perfect radio singles, similarly to Maroon 5's uncanny hit-making magic. With punchy percussion and thick-and-bouncy bass lines, the band's happy, slappy pop anthems sound orchestrated for the perfect kegger or any given "American Pie" movie soundtrack.
"Social Season" closes, however, with ‘Saint James' - a bit of an expository instrumental; as though the band is telling you it is more than a group of pop-savants. The track actually veers into progressive territory with textured guitar layering and ambient effects experimentation without pretention. Clocking in at just over four-minutes, it strategically does not outwear its welcome.
For all the pomp-and-pop musicality, there still lurks an underlying edge of indie/punk attitude that really gives the band its spark of individuality. It is in the subtext where Late Cambrian sounds like it is fighting fire with fire, or in this case, pop with pop. A major label would be foolish not to sign this band immediately.
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