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Cause For Applause: Cause For ApplauseCause For Applause (2003)
Reviewer Rating: 3.5
Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)
This NYC trio’s debut EP has a sound reminiscent of the city’s punk heritage. Singer David Lloyd sings with the energy and abandon of Richard Hell or Patti Smith, alternating between sounding like he’s a drunk hitting on your girlfriend and sounding like the greasy teenager on the Simpsons with the crackly voice. He half-talk/half-sings his way through these five tunes, jumping from note to note wildly and occasionally letting out a comical warble of a yell. But that’s part of the fun of this disc.
The music behind Lloyd sounds like an intentionally sloppy version of Hell’s Voidoids. The guitar sound is akin to the Voidoids or the UK’s Gang of Four or even Fugazi- rather than chugging on heavily distorted chords, they choose funky rhythms and reckless noodling. The bass is fuzzy, and the drums are booming. If you are unfamiliar with the above bands, Cause for Applause could also be compared to the Hives if those Swedes were more out of control. As I write this I realize this EP has grown on me, and if you aren’t turned off by the punk sound of old, it may grow on you too.
This was not the case at first. As it raced by in just over 11 minutes, I thought it was silly and just too sloppy. But with each listen the sound grew on me, and I realized the sloppiness captures energy and I imagined this band would be entertaining live. This EP will definitely take some patience on the listener’s part, but if you are open to it, you should realize it is an impressive and refreshing debut. “The Wire” starts it off strong with a thumping beat and Lloyd showing the full range of craziness he can conjure up. My favorite track “Forager” shows the swagger and swing the band excels at, and the closer “Ode to Danzig” is hard not to like with a title like that, and it lives up to it with Lloyd sounding a bit like Glenn, but adding it his own wild-man screeching near the end.
Cause for Applause has some ties to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs because Jack Martin of the band participated in some way on the YYYs debut EP. Let’s see if this band can do the same as their compadres and make the jump from the easier-to-pull-off quickie EP to impressive full lengths. Good start though, and the band may very well live up to their name.
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