Updated: May 3
Back for your amusement, Captain Obvious.
"Hello, everyone,” he says. His proud smile is both hilarious and creepy and the only feature I can picture. “This week, I learned a valuable lesson. The more you pay attention, the more you get from the experience.”
“Why the powerful and profound revelation, you may ask. Well, actually listening to Late Cambrian’s new album Future Snack and not just hearing it.”
Ok. I’ll drop the fictional scenario, distancing disclaimer before we all get bored. However, I had to say something. You know, “It’s always something.”
I can’t tell if that is stale or funny because I haven’t written for a minute. Working through ideas, I am building to my bigger winter projects.
Late Cambrian. Of course, they are a band I had not heard before their name popped up in our Alt Revue messenger thread. That’s nothing new. I have little to no experience with most of the bands I write about.
Sent Future Snack in late July, I gave it a couple of listens before September. Nothing stood out, but nothing turned me off. It was background music as I tried to build a little structure in my life. Besides, out of the group of albums I was sent, it was the last one I had to review. Plus, there were concerts: The Black Keys and Spoon, for which I wrote reviews. Late Cambrian was sort of pushed to the end of my schedule and dropped off my page of emails.
Confessional? I don’t know why I am telling you this. Maybe, I want to establish that I had not really listened to Future Snacks.
Anyone who has read my reviews knows that the first song and sometimes the first minute of that song is important. It establishes the tone and lets me know what to expect. In an album that creates a lot of nostalgia for me, “The Last Wave” is a poppy song that takes me back to radio music of the early ‘90s. Dancy, better use of electronic equipment than in the eighties, and slightly irritated by cocaine regrets. Mocked by the Grunge crowd and misunderstood.
Although I filled the prior paragraph with many words, what did any of that tell me? During my early listens, not a lot. It took repeats for me to come up with an opinion. However . . .
Sitting down to listen to the album, I noticed that everything changed when “Homely Raya” started. What’s this sound? Bluesy, especially after hearing The Black Keys this summer. Then the lyrics. Early Phish, “Esther?” Ok, the rest of you may not hear it, but I did. Humorous storytelling and distorted vocals.
“What’s going on in this album?” I was interested and excited for “Come to Bed.”
Listen to the opening of the third track on Future Snacks. Classic Rock? A ballad? Beautiful guitar work that is sweet and beautiful, and then that guitar solo that sounds like something from Law & Order. “What is happening here?” I said out loud as I smiled. Intrigue.
I like “Future Snacks,” but it’s not my favorite.
“Its Always Something” – Sorry, but ‘It’s Always’ makes me instantly think about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Hold on. This is perfect because the fifth track reminds me of a sitcom credits song. Yes, it is poppy, but there is something that makes me want to bounce back and forth, smile, and picture sitcom characters with goofy smiles and facial expressions.
I love “Peloton.” This song shows talent and skill.
“Skunk Family Thieves” reminds me of Celtic music. Another direction and style. Late Cambrian isn’t afraid to push their boundaries and do it well.
A short album with only eight songs, Future Snacks ends with another track that made me think about Phish. Mostly it is the vocals, but listen to the change at the 2:08 mark. It’s short, but . . . then the jam band style guitar solo. Not like Trey. More like . . . I don’t know. However, the bassline could be a Mike Gordon. And then the finish. Hahaha
What the hell am I talking about? I’m stretching.
Final Thought: If you got through this review, I applaud you. It seems broken and disconnected. But is it?
Favorite Songs: “Homely Raya,” “Come to Bed,” and “Peloton”
Rating - 4.85/5 – I cannot wait to hear more from Late Cambrian