San Cisco – Awkward E.P


Charm might just be the best get out of jail free card in a music journalists arsenal. It’s a highly subjective term that, simultaneously, everyone can get behind. In a sentence I would call this, the second E.P from Australian Indie-Poppers San Cisco, a prime example of how an abundance of charm can save what would otherwise be a deeply annoying record and while I can’t begin to explain why it’s saved by it, you, dear reader, (hopefully) know exactly what I’m talking about. The five tracks just seem to exude a sense of innocent happiness that justifies the carefree “La-la-la” melodies they’re based on. Well, four of them at least. It’s telling that a spirited cover of Arctic Monkeys’ 505, one of the most nakedly personal rock songs of the past decade, something of a sacred text to Monkeys fans and easily the darkest moment on the E.P is also by quite a large margin the worst. Not that it’s actively bad, it just seems to stick out like a sore thumb and not quite fit into the otherwise happy go lucky E.P. Beyond that mistep this is a whole heap of fun in a way that most have forgotten how to do.

Opener and lead single is the best example of this, jangling guitar chords, dueling boy-girl vocals and a maddeningly catchy “Da-Da-Da” chorus, it’s been done similarly so often it should send any self-respecting listener into fits of rage, but it’s done too well to properly hate. Or hate at all for that matter. Rocket Ship and Lover follow this formula to a T before closer Reckless closes the E.P with a more reflective sounding piece that adds the depth that 505 tried to add but failed. In all, well worth a listen for those left cold by Two Door Cinema Club’s attempts to bring back happy go lucky guitar-pop, or those who labour under the misguided apprehension that true art must be angsty. This is charm in audio form, and it’s great.

[review=4]

Will Howard