Late Cambrian and Gramercy Arms

Late Cambrian

Late Cambrian “Golden Time”

Late Cambrian has changed its sound a bit more toward the club audience, the guitar riffs which dominated in Peach, take a backseat to the increased role of the keyboard. Starting with the angular riffs, and thumping bass guitar of “Throwing Shade,” its very similar to Field Music’s cerebral approach. But soon after we get the pop goodness of the “Golden Time,” a catchy gem that encourages dancing and head bopping. Its one of the best singles I’ve heard so far and a perfect mix of bass guitar/synth melody.

The synth leads “Illamasqua” and it highlights the vocal harmonies and solid drum work. “NOW” goes for a funkier production with the guitar playing a lead role here. Similarly, “DYBIL” an acronym for “do you believe in love” is a dance rock track with a spacey feel. Then “Montauk” is a welcome love song featuring Angie Hart telling her story, and the duet with John is excellent. The ending “Shiny Cars” is stately and a little long, but there is no filler here. John Wlaysewski’s voice and guitar have come a long way from Flying Machines. This is a band that’s on the cutting edge of rock and pop, ready for major fame – its early but makes my 2015 list.  Look out Maroon 5 and Franz Ferdinand, you’ve got a band who’s “Golden Time” has come.
power pop

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Gramercy Arms

Gramercy Arms “The Seasons of Love”

Gramercy Arms is a NYC Collective masterminded by main songwriter/producer Dave Derby (Dambuilders/Lloyd Cole) with a massive guest list: Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman), Tanya Donelly (Belly, Throwing Muses), Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), Kendall Meade (Sparklehorse), Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields), Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices), Erin Moran (A Girl Called Eddy), Renee LoBue (Elk City), Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo).

The opener “Always In Love” is a sure fire hit that will brighten your day with sunny horn flourishes to highlight the optimistic melody. The more subdued “Beautiful Disguise” veers into ballad territory, the duet between Lloyd Cole and Joan Wasser plays the male/female insecurity card perfectly. “Winterlight” is another gem of optimism and its a hand clapping ready-made single. “The Night Is Your Only Friend” is another richly woven pop anthem. Fans of sophisticated pop rock like The Eels or The Sharp Things will love this album.  The horns and strings here set the music above the fray, and lead singer works effortlessly with other vocalists of different styles on “Novemberlong” and “The Seasons of Love.” Overall this is music that elicits authentic emotion, and you’ll be glad to revisit it and let it grow on you.
power pop