A horrible hack

Algernon Cadwallader

Some Kind of Cadwallader

Year Released: 2008
Format: CD
Label: Be Happy - Sars
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on May 17, 2008
Now this is one of the most anticipated CDs from the emo scene in quite some time. People have high expectations on this one, including me. Have they been met? Personally, I am a little surprised to say "no". This is a pretty good album, but hmm, it is missing something for me. Maybe it's the fact that it sounds a whole lot more like the missing link between Cap'n Jazz and the first Joan of Arc album or something, rather than straight up melodic gloriousness like Cap'n Jazz or the Promise Ring. It's a bit too fiddly for my tastes I guess. There is plenty of vocal hollering, it has the most absurd vocal tribute to a youthful Tim Kinsella I have ever heard, the similarity is just flabbergasting. Every little off-key yelp and broken vocal is present. The music is boundless, hopping about hyperactively, but it just fails to settle into the poppy groove I was hoping it would. It's a bit too mathy and noodly at times. I enjoy the first Joan of Arc album (more so the second), but for midwestmo I prefer a good chorus and catchiness. Algernon tend to prefer flinging their guitars around and squawking, mixing in twinkly, atmospheric parts in line with American Football. There are plenty of enjoyable songs, the title track is one of those that manages to hit the catchy chorus, and for that I am grateful. "Yo Soy Milk" picks up the pace to a more enjoyable level, making the right musical connections for me. Yet, unfortunately for me, for the most part they are certainly headed more down a path that I find hard to keep up with. Also disappointing is that the English summer has already been and gone. This music would soundtrack sunshine better than 15 degree grey days with intermittent showers and the cricket rained off.

Undeniably cutesy (irritatingly so in places), and a really solid listen (that has grown on me once I got past the fact that they opted for a particular style), yet not the classic record that I was 90% certain they were going to deliver. When your expectations are so high, and a band delivers a good but not great album, that's enough to rate as a disappointment for me. I suspect that if I had not been reared on Frame & Canvas, Nothing Feels Good, Four Minute Mile and the Cap'n Jazz discography CDs then I would not even notice, and be able to write a review uncoloured by these particular biases I have for branches of the genre. But I can't. Sorry Algernon.

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