Dance Rock - Everyone Wants To Be the Killers
While mixing synthesizers and guitars in rock music isn’t that much of a rarity nowadays, very few bands have been able to pull it off in a way that is creative and works on every level. Bands like The Killers have been able to do just that and produce high quality of music by blending both mediums in such a fashion while maintaining a balance with the emotion and lyrics that go along with it. This revival is refreshing in a music scene that has become saturated with music that sounds generic and pretty much sounds the same, but unfortunately many bands who attempt to infuse guitars and electronics aren’t able to pull it off. One UK band that has generated some buzz of late is the Cazals and the recent release of their debut album What of Our Future.
Cazals Bring Guitars to the Dancefloor
While the Cazals may appeal to some listeners with its 80s-inspired infusion of synths and rock, the musical experience comes off as generic and a bit tiresome after a few tracks into the album. Phil Bush’s thin raspy vocals lack any real depth or range and seem to lack the edge needed to support the somewhat lacking lyrics. The music though is definitely enhanced by the combination of energetic guitars and slick synth work that seem to work well at times with such interesting touches such as a bassline here and the use of a vocoder there. Unfortunately, the lacking vocals and lyrics take away from the brilliant instrument play on many of the tracks and you feel as though there was so much miss potential with this band. A few of the tracks though do seem to work on this album so one can not dismiss it as a complete loss.
'What Of Our Future" Has a Promising Start
The first track on the album, "New Boy in Town," offers promise with some great electro beats that blend with some fairly decent riffs and a catchy chorus that definitely generates energy and feeling that definitely would work in a live show. Another track that works for this album is the cover of Spandau Ballet’s "To Cut a Long Story Short" which is one of the few instances where Bush’s hoarse vocals work on the somewhat seedy song which seem to add an extra layer of pervasiveness that wasn’t there with Hadley’s vocals on the original track. After those two tracks though, everything else comes across as a disappointment. The track "Somebody Somewhere" seems more like a rejected song from a Killers album and lacks the intensity or edge that really would make it stand out and the electronics are the only thing keep it from falling off the edge. Some songs like "Comfortable Silence," on the other hand, rely too much on tricks and gimmicks and the slow drums that evoked such a great tone in the track are ruined by such a long and irrelevant period of silence in the song that takes away the focus of the music itself.
Unfortunately the limited moments of promise on this album are greatly overshadow by the many generic and somewhat uninspired tracks that seem more like retreads of other ideas and artists and don’t reflect anything worth mentioning. Maybe with a stronger vocal lead, some of the songs and lyrics could have been saved, but Bush's vocals seem to get drowned out and lost among the music and questionable lyrics. I still believe there is hope with this band to make decent music with the right lyrics and music that showcase their raw ability but unfortunately What of Our Future is a dismal mess through most of the listening experience and the two tracks that shine promisingly don’t justify the album as a whole. I would suggest downloading these singles and forgoing the rest of the album and spend the money saved on something more worthy of a full listen.
Released March 2009 on Hours Entertainment.