Michael Cera Palin
Release Date: October 30, 2015
I’m sitting on the floor at the Blue Shirt HQ in metro-Atlanta as Michael Cera Palin finishes sound check. Cigarette smoke wafts through the open basement door as kids get their last tokes in before the emo-pop band begins their set. While some of the spectators came for other acts on the bill, most have gathered to hear songs of Michael Cera Palin’s debut EP, Growing Pains. After some creative wardrobe adjustments, the group opens their set strong with endearing vocals and driving bass lines that enthrall the small audience.
Michael Cera Palin is a charming young trio that puts on fun, energetic performances. Growing Pains does a fantastic job of capturing that goofy energy in a five track EP. Jon Williams, the group’s bass player, sets a punky, fast-paced tone for the record, perfectly complimenting Jon Buncic’s aggressive drum technique to create a rhythm section far superb to most young punk three-pieces. Over these grooves Elliot Brabant lays down catchy, technical melodies reminiscent of 90’s alternative bands such as American Football as he sings about love, heartbreak, and, as the title would suggest, growing up.
The record kicks off with the title track, “Growing Pains”. A melody similar to an Algernon Cadwallader song wraps Brabant’s soft vocals in a catchy start for the EP. This poppy, indie vibe remains consistent all the way to the closing track, “Laughing Makes It Worse”, a surefire hit boasting impressive production quality, especially for a debut from such a young project. I was happy to find that the recording captures vocal and melodic nuances that go unnoticed in the group’s live performances. Lo-fi samples at the end of the track close the record in a smooth yet haunting fashion.
“Boots N Cats”, the record’s stand-out track, features an almost Blink-182-esq pop-punk element and clever lyrics. Fans of Tiger’s Jaw will feel right at home with Elliot’s mellow vocals belting emotional verses into a harmonious breakdown to finish the track. Clocking in at under three minutes, this song alone is enough to leave listeners wondering what’s next for the boys, but for now the five tracks on Growing Pains will have to be enough.
Reviewed by: Mac 1340