Montreal’s own indie rockers Cape Cartel follow up last year’s debut Close Talkerwith their latest five-track release Vitamins. The band has stripped down from a quartet to a trio, consisting of brothers Clay and Jake Upex, and Daniel Moscovitch on drums.
I’m always impressed by what siblings are able to accomplish when they make music together. It’s as if sharing a similar upbringing and learning music together since childhood creates this synergy that’s hard to recreate among friends. When the Upex brothers sing together, magic happens, like in the repetitive chorus of “Flying.” Their soothing voices are bound to cure any bad mood you might be having. Let’s just hope they don’t end up hating each other like the Gallagher brothers of Oasis.
From the punchy opening bass line in “Vitamins,” to the funky guitar hooks in “I’m Still Your Man,” Cape Cartel’s appeal is in their minimalism. Their music sounds so familiar, yet I can’t place exactly where I’ve heard it before. The drums propel the songs, constantly tapping along while the bass and drums come in and out. Clay does play around some effects to fill the empty spaces, like with the shimmering reverb of “Boy Bruiseless,” but that’s about as complex as it gets.
Although Cape Cartel is much too mellow for my tastes, I can’t hear a single fault in the recordings, though I don’t possess the indie rock knowledge to compare it to anything else. It’s the perfect band to host at your local coffee house, and I guarantee no one will be calling noise complaints on these boys. Their sound is inoffensive, even the line “I’m so fucking naïve” in “The Matador” is barely noticeable. While I might find this kind of music mundane, I would recommend it to anybody who prefers to be lulled to sleep by calm music, rather than be shaken awake by a shrieking demon.
Written by Chris Aitkens
*edited by Mike Milito