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The Cads — Lessons:Illustrated [2012]

The Cads — Lessons:Illustrated [2012]

The Cads Lessons:Illustrated 
Location: Ipswich, England, UK
Album release: July 16, 2012
Record Label: Deaf Surfer Records
Duration:     32:52
1. Artaud      [4:17]
2. New Seed      [3:46]
3. Crinkle Cut      [3:37]
4. Arbiter      [3:14]
5. Hinterland      [4:35]
6. Sonar      [3:11]
7. Crayola      [3:37]
8. Moss      [2:52]
9. Still Swimming      [3:16]
Website: www.thecads.co.uk
Tumblr: http://thecads.tumblr.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCads
Main manager: lee@deafsurfer.co.uk 
Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/thecads
Reservé agent: sam@itsoffbeat.co.uk (UK) // felix@offriends.de (DE/NL)
•  Lessons: Illustrated, the second album by Ipswich’s prodigal sons The Cads, is simultaneously everything that’s now, and nothing that’s new. Over the course of its 34 minute, 9 song length, not a single original idea will reach your ears. You see, The Cads are A British Indie Band, and sound exactly the way British indie bands are supposed to sound in the Converse-sponsored year of our Lord, 2012. Judiciously borrowing from the musical dressing-up box previously raided, to great commercial effect, by The Maccabees and Vampire Weekend (and co-opted, with varying degrees of success, by everyone from Zulu Winter to The Kabeedies), it’s doubtful that even The Cads would plead anything other than gross plagiarism when it came to laying the base foundations of their sound. But the overall style of your look and/or music – as any former Next Big Thing will tell you through embittered tears – is barely half the battle; wearing a cagoul and calling everyone “our kid” won’t make you the new Oasis any more than painting a stripe across your face and pretending you’re from space makes you David Bowie. The sound itself, like the image, like the attitude or pose or manifesto, is mere fluff. What matters most is intangible yet entirely basic, and more than anything, it starts with the tunes.
•  By employing exactly the right balance of familiar devices (matter-of-fact English vocals echoed by eerie falsettos; Bloc Party-esque drums; choppy, spikey, duelling post-punk guitars set against shimmering delay effects; 80s bass guitar parps; an overall sense of triumphal glumness), The Cads expertly build a series of soundscapes which, taken together, become oddly uplifting. In short, what we’re dealing with here is a Mood Piece; so whilst some specific tracks (recent single New Seed; calmly anthemic shuffle-inducer Hinterland; the expertly-constructed euphoria of Crayola; and album highlight Moss, which is strangely and, one would imagine, coincidentally redolent of fellow Suffolk comedown-groovers Broken Shapes) stand out as obvious highlights, and others (Crinkle Cut; Sonar) seem comparatively slight, there’s still a sense that every song on Lessons: Illustrated sits exactly where it ought to be; where it was designed to be.

  ©  Conway, Tom and Stef at playfest.

The Cads — Lessons:Illustrated [2012]



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