Cardinals are a four-piece band from Southampton via being very earnest young gentlemen. In my hunt for Cardinals info, I’ve seen a plethora of reviews referring to their Math and post-rock influences, which I’m finding hard to pin down (I’m erring on the side of it being lazy writing of the “epic crescendo? Oh, they must be into Godspeed” ilk. Stop it. You know who you are.)
To these humble ears Cardinals are taking the route of early Death Cab meets the BSM roster and a teensy pinch of TVHC. No bad thing, you get me? Opener ‘Numbers’ has the slightly motorik and arpeggio heavy lilt that them early turn-of-century sweater-and-slacks crowd dug. And while ‘Salamander’ ramps up the ideas considerably, it’s also the best example of being just that bit too lyrically obtuse. I understand what’s going on, I just think it could be a bit more succinct.
‘Human Traces’ is a very British take on Codeine’s slowcore jams. The song really has space to breathe – not enough bands know when less is more, and Cardinals are fortunate to be among their number. These boys also know a good refrain when they hear one, and stick with it. ‘Onya.
Closer ‘XXVIV IV’ (29 4?) sticks with the ‘elongate to propagate!’ formula, creeping towards a Transatlanticism-esque crescendo, “if you are all that I wanted, then I wanted a heart attack” – yet it’s cut short. It’s moments like this that lessons really could be learned from Efrim Menuck, in that this could be their “some hearts are true” moment.
All in all, a collection of promising tunage from some guys who know what they want to do, and do it pretty bloody well. Here’s to the future, lads.Tags: Cardinals, Southampton, WTS?