San Cisco – The Water (Album Review)
The Fremantle based four-piece, San Cisco, are back with their third full length LP, The Water. The Indie-Pop band is known for their quirkiness and bright hooks, forming an incredibly unique sound for themselves, that was explored on their self-titled debut album. This was expanded upon on their second album Gracetown, incorporating disco, funk and soul undertones. Now with this new record, San Cisco have blended themselves with primarily funk and early ’80s conventions that are entwined throughout the majority of the album.
San Cisco get straight into things with the opener, Kids Are Cool, kicking it off with a fast-paced, groove tune with a funky bass-line that fits incredibly well with the song, this is a style that pops up a couple more times on the album. A track like The Distance, whilst not as fast as Kids Are Cool, has these bright and almost ethereal synths to give it a very bubbly tone. The Distance is a well written song about a couple struggling to connect, and while Jordi Davieson’s vocals are great on their own, some duality singing with Scarlett Stevens was missed. The funky flavours continue with one of the album’s lead singles, SloMo, the disco-infused track really brings the dance vibes with it’s catchy hook that comes with a nice dual performance from Davieson and Stevens.
Not to fear though, the band doesn’t stray from their poppy sound, That Boy having those great little sing along moments that every San Cisco fan knows and loves, as well as a bright piano section on the chorus that evokes an ironic happy feeling. Then there’s the track Sunrise, a nice blend of San Cisco’s uplifting vibes and the sound that they seem to be aiming for on this album, having pretty and progressive synths and piano that mix well with the band’s very rhythmic guitar arrangements. And no one can forget, The Water’s second single, Hey, Did I Do You Wrong? A very laid-back and summery song, with a sweet chorus that’s surely going to get sung on road-trips far into next year.
The second half of the album truly takes an ’80s turn. Starting out with Waiting for the Weekend, having a weirdly warped synth that plays throughout the track, giving it an almost psychedelic vibe. I found this track was most likely the worst song on the record. With no real build or progression in the instrumental, as well as a chorus that drags, all the layers culminate into something that never manages to draw in the listener. Though, the album picks straight back up with SloMo, bringing back that fun and groovy tone that’s persistent throughout. On the title track there’s a real sense of influence, and this could just be me, I hear similarities to the beginning of Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer, as well as some connections to Pseudo Echo. Davieson’s singing really driving the track home with a nice accompaniment from Stevens. Then we get into, what I believe to be, the best song on the album, Did You Get What You Came For? Starting off with these glittery synths that beautifully go in and out as the song progresses, and then a magnificent guitar riff comes into play to steal the show. All the different parts of the song work in tandem so well from the high-hats to backing vocals to the lyrics, all complimenting each other. Finally, The Water’s closer, Make Me Electrify, is an absolute groove fest, bringing back the really funky bass and electronic synthesisers, building into a great chorus that simply screams ’80s dance; especially with the robotic back-up that comes into it.
Overall, San Cisco have drifted a little from the Indie-Pop sound we got with their debut, but it’s always great to hear a band experiment and pull from different styles to progress their own, especially when they pull it off like San Cisco have done here. Though there may be times that don’t work as well as what they could of, I think the 4-piece have out done their second album with this release, feeling more direct and memorable. With bass-lines that can really get the feet moving and a stand out vocal performance from Davieson, fans should be excited to listen to San Cicso’s new album coming out on the 5th of May.
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- Blake Luxford