A Caesar Holiday - A Caesar Holiday (Cover Artwork)

A Caesar Holiday

A Caesar Holiday (2007)


After one song I can't help but think, "Here we go again." Whether it's A Caesar Holiday's bold, albeit rather common namedropping of Slint and Mogwai in their press or their all-too-familiar slow plonking to chaotic crashing take on the whole instrumental thing, it's territory these ears did not feel like retreading.

With two guitars, bass, drums and violin, A Caesar Holiday have no problem slogging through moody and lingering movements. They are capable musicians aware of the power of layering, texture, and tension, but often their compositions seem to lack emotion.

Pensive moments seem to be what this band is most suited for, with the opening sequence of "Let Bygones" coming off downright romantic thanks to a soaring violin, watery guitar line and lingering group vocals. It's their transitions and "pay-off" moments that often seem forced, as if the band spent weeks honing their shoegaze passages only to top them with rushed and unfulfilling crescendos full of spooky squawks and macho blasts of distortion.

If A Caesar Holiday ever hope to live up to the namesakes of bands like Slint and Mogwai they are going to need to ditch the cliché post-rock formula and idea that effects pedals = avant-garde. There is some solid instrumental music lurking in the depths of these songs -- they just need to bring it out.