There is a whole slew of new music slated to come out this October, which is actually an ideal time to release music. It's “just in time for the holidays” but not as competitive as the summer months.
Of course, more albums are set to be released than Bark + Bite possibly has time to review, however, new EPs from Cartel and The Ready Set are worth checking out, for pop/rocks fans.
One week after blink-182 released Neighborhoods (seriously, it rocks) fans of the pop-rock genre are getting even more new tunes to listen to. First up: Cartel.
Cartel has years of experience and several albums until their belts, but they’ve definitely had their ups and downs. After the successful release of their debut album, Chroma, back in 2005, the group made the mistake of signing on to one of MTV’s biggest PR failures, Band In a Bubble. Long story short, the band lived inside a bubble for 20 days under the constant watching eye of fans via webcams and MTV’s cameras while they made an album.
The self-titled release was not a high note in the group’s career (surprise, surprise) and listeners had to be coaxed back into fandom with 2009’s Cycles. Now, their new EP, In Stereo (out Oct. 4) seeks to keep them there. A mere five songs long, the new release is somewhat reminiscent of the band’s early days. “American Dreams,” (and “Lessons of Love” to a certain extent) feels like it was plucked right off of Chroma. Which is sure to please fans that have been in it for the long haul.
Unfortunately, the title track “In Stereo” seems like a bit of a step in the wrong direction, and sounds more like something from a band that’s just starting out and finding itself. When lead singer Will Pugh sings “all they want is energy,” he’s leaving out a lot of other important factors that make great music; instead, the line “it’s nothing new, nothing to do” is slightly more appropriate. Luckily, that’s the only real misstep. “Conduit” and the even catchier “Something To Believe” combine Cartel’s growth from album to album with their original sound, and the balance of new and old here is a success. There’s polish, but not too much, and the tracks makes it possible for fans to “believe” in Cartel again. It may not be anything extraordinary, but Cartel’s In Stereo is a solid EP that manages to please fans of Cartel, both new and old.
More of a newbie to the record industry (for more, read Bark + Bite’s interview with The Ready Set aka Jordan Witzigreuter here), The Ready Set’s follow-up to his debut record with Decaydance Records, I’m Alive, I’m Dreaming, Feel Good Now (out Oct. 11) carries a lot of the same themes from the album while pushing the artist’s range slightly. Of the seven songs, track number one, “Hollywood Dream” is a clear star.
Immediately catchy and featuring sped up vocals and instrumentals that create a sense of urgency until the break just after the two minute mark, it's an undeniably upbeat hit. The best part of this song, however, is in Witzigreuter’s vocals; when he says “I want her with me-e-e”, it’s the perfect balance of whiny and teen dream cute. Similarly catchy is “A Little More”, a slightly more stripped down version of The Ready Set sound.
While the EP shows growth for the solo artist on the Panic! At the Disco-sounding “Killer” and the rougher “Young Forever,” Witzigreuter shines more on the (rather cheesy) love song “Notions”. Plus, with lyrics like “You say the music makes you wanna fall in love/ So let the song come true/ This one goes out to me and you,” the tween girl audience is sure to fall hard for guy. Overall, Feel Good Now isn’t an extreme departure for The Ready Set, but it is a catchy set of songs that shows promise for his career.
Alright, readers: what new music are you checking out this month?