Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Album Review: White Cascade - EP2

Raleigh’s White Cascade continues to evolve on their second EP, the simply named EP2.

The band’s growing Kraut-rock influences give their music shape. Clear, repetitive and persistent beats on opener “30 Seconds” make things less amorphous and more structured, less My Bloody Valentine and more Joy Division. The added momentum helps to keep the listener engaged.

Despite this evolution, White Cascade retains the shifting colors of shoegaze. “You Got It” slowly morphs into a dance-worthy track. These opposing styles make for compelling listening. “It’s getting inside my head,” sings vocalist Guess on “30 Seconds” and listeners are likely to share this feeling.

The second half of EP2 loses some steam. “Candy” tries to soar, but is too plodding at times and never gets off the ground. “Slow Crush” bulldozes over the listener with controlled force, but there isn’t a satisfactory climax.

Fortunately, the gem of EP2 was saved of last. The special remix of “Again and Again” is a steady-drip of energy that ramps up with icy synths and booming drum machines. As the synths wobble and weaver over the infectious vocal repetition, it’s hard to sit still.

Don’t expect White Cascade to stay the same for long, but here on EP2 they’ve struck a nice balance between where they’ve come from and where they’re going.

White Cascade will have an EP release show with The Bronzed Chorus at King’s Barcade in Raleigh on January 13.

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