Hailing from Long Island, NY, Sir Cadian Rhythm released “Identity Crisis”, in June of this year after a lot of apparent buzz about their live shows in their home state of New York.
The album is 5 tracks long, kicking off with their emphasized single, “Gwen Barkley in the 20th Century”, which is a clear homage to the 1937 classic film, “Round Up Time in Texas”, starring Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette & Maxine Doyle as Gwen Barkley. You guys remember… The one where Gene & Frog bring that herd of horses for Gene’s brother… Bad guys are after his diamonds… you know the rest. Actually, as far as I can tell, this song has nothing to do with that movie, but that’s all I could find looking up Gwen Barkley. The lyrics loosely detail the life of a washed up party girl/lost love of sorts. I guess I get why this is the showcase song on the album, as it’s the most polished sounding, but I have to say I find it to be one of the least interesting of the 5, relying heavily on its main hook.
Track 2, “All is Fair (In Love & War)”, despite it’s extraordinarily plain & over-used title is actually a fairly decent & catchy track. The guitar riff is very funky, the lyrics straight forward. It’s kind of a hipster humping of Blues Traveler minus harmonica. Whatever, I like it.
Any-who, next in the line up is “Book of Secrets”, which has an appreciated slightly heavier feel to it. Yet another song about a distant woman, it’s also pretty catchy. It’s hard to go wrong w/ a driving riff & melodic chorus, eh?
“Tribulations” (track 4) sounds like it was written by Darius Rucker. That’s really all I have to (or need to) say about it.
The final track, “Walk On Wire”, has by far the coolest intro & overall riff on the album. Very cool mix of garage rock & a forgivable amount of pop-punk sounds, with the slightest sprinkling of prog. This really should’ve been the showcase track, but what’re ya gonna do?
I’m giving this one a 5 for the very competent musicianship. Most of the way throughout, the actual playing on this album is very good and decently complex, which did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. The problem is the whole thing just felt soulless. It felt kitschy, with the same unenlightened, pandering-to-their-niche lyrics that have been beaten to death for decades. It just felt dishonest. Hopefully in the future they will learn to actually write music ABOUT something, but I guess nowadays that doesn’t really stop anyone’s success anymore. In that case, disregard everything I just said & follow the link to the album at the top of the article.