James Supercave - The Afternoon EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

James Supercave - The Afternoon EP

by Rich Morris Rating:5 Release Date:2014-03-25

There’s a sense that Los Angeles-based James Supercave (not a man, a band) want to be a lot of different things, elements they master well in isolation but lose grip on once combined into a bubbling hipster morass.

For a start, this band are quirky to a fault. Opening track ‘Old Robot’ is about finding friendship with a robot. It starts with the sort of sub-aquatic beat one might find on a 90s Aphex Twin track before a cute keyboard motif and achingly twee falsetto vocals kick in. We also get a violin solo, a loop of cheering children, and jokey ringtones and answerphone messages. It’s just a bit much and underneath it all you can’t detect anything one might call soul.

Song two, ‘The Right Thing’, changes tack and is the strongest on the EP. Here the singer sounds more like Sparks’ Russell Mael than Panda Bear, while the music starts off with glam riffing before building into the kind of rock ‘n’ roll mutha-load which was de rigueur during Britpop. Then it all goes a bit Queen at the end, which is unfortunate.

‘A Million Days’ is a ballad with some lovely sci-fi electronica touches and a genuinely great, stuttering breakdown towards the end. Final track ‘The Afternoon (as Bad as It Gets)’ is the most electronic of the lot. It begins sounding like Toro Y Moi before the singer lets loose with his most obnoxious, squeaky vocal of the EP. It’s chillwave four years too late, basically, and not even very good for that.

My advice to James Supercave: dump your singer. And concentrate of writing tunes rather than making sounds. 

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