Read The Book Seen The Movie
By: Eric G.
The name of this band perfectly describes the sound of its music, which charges with a noisy double-dose of punk rock guitars, catchy, pogo-inducing riffs, and a pummeling rhythm section. Cadillac Blindside races through its hyper-energetic punk like the Treepeople without the excessive noodling or Braid without the whiny sentimentality. Zach Zrust's vocals even recall the Treepeople's Scott Schmaljohn on occasion the way he can make a gruff yell sound like inflected yearning.
Of course, it isn't just volume and speed that make this album sound like such a refreshing change of pace from typical indie-emo punk. The band also has the songwriting chops to balance out the bursts of octave chords. Cadillac Blindside opts for the harmonic side of punk, perhaps, at the expense of keeping hardcore punk fans at bay, but the band easily rocks just as hard as Dillinger Four and makes The Get Up Kids sound like a bunch of pansies.
Calling this band pop punk does it a disservice. It's more rock and roll than pop despite the well-constructed harmonies and memorable hooks. They do have the emo haircuts and the emo inflections, but the amount of frustrated energy in songs like "At Wit's End" and "A Touch Of Nostalgia" should hold the malignant emo tag at arm's length. The band just simply rocks too hard to be feeling sorry for itself. And on a side note, it has one of the best female drummers I've ever heard next to Unwound's Sara Lund.
When the pace slows down, though, the band's stock drops dramatically. "This One's On Me" has bland emo written all over it, and we could certainly do without the raindrop sound effects at the beginning of "Just Pull The Trigger." The former song is atypical for the band, and the latter song dutifully erupts into a raging anthem, wiping the raindrops clear from memory.
Rapid-fire assaults like "The Bottom Line" thrust Cadillac Blindside's head way above its peers and make cliches like "I'll give an inch/you'll take a mile" seem perfectly acceptable. The dynamics of "Tonight's Starting Line-Up" reveal Cadillac Blindside to be more than just a one-trick powerhouse pony. Read The Book Seen The Movie is full of these subtle types of surprises that you discover upon repeated listenings. I'm on my fifth just since I started this review.