Cadillac Blindside – Read the Book, Seen the Movie

Cadillac Blindside
Read the Book, Seen the Movie

Ah, for better days. It’s scary that this album makes me nostalgic, but it does. It makes me nostalgic for that period, only a few years ago, when I was suddenly discovering a complete genre of rock music that people were calling emo. I scoured all the record stores I could find with a scrap of paper bearing names like The Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring, CaP’n Jazz, Mineral, and so many more. And each time I listened to one of these albums I was floored by the power of the music and the personal nature of the vocals.
That was then, and this is now. It seems that my music tastes have diverged. I’m suddenly listening to screaming, emphatic power rock like The Red Scare and I Hate Myself, and I’m also enjoying the lighter indie rock of Death Cab For Cutie and Matt Pond PA. And while I still listen to those bands mentioned above, that kind of rock doesn’t have the same impact on me.
Cadillac Blindside, however, would have been the perfect find a few years ago. This would have probably been my favorite album. This is an excellent album, but, for me, the sound is dated, even if it’s a recent date. This band plays emo rock that just reeks of The Get Up Kids’ first album, Four Minute Mile. Fast, punk-based rock with multiple vocals that sound strained and not very tuneful, singing about lost love and growing up. The guitars break down from power riffs to melodic interludes, and the vocals rip in your ears. While Four Minute Mile slowed down into more subtle ballads, Cadillac Blindside never really slow down, instead maybe stepping things up a bit and becoming more punk. But they so fit in with those emo bands, which is probably going to be a detriment to them rather than a positive.
This one kicks off with “At Wit’s End,” which more resembles the newer Get Up Kids material, leaning a bit toward the punkier side than the more melodic rock, but the multiple vocals and those driving guitar riffs lend it a very GUK feel. “What am I to do?” starts off “Did You Get All That?” Wait a minute, didn’t a Four Minute Mile GUK song start off that way? This song could be a track off that album with no problem, even the vocals fitting in perfectly. But don’t worry too much, because this band doesn’t sound like an exact carbon copy. “A Touch of Nostalgia” has some incredible vocals and singing, both lead and backing vocals, over some high-powered yet melodic rock that doesn’t quite resemble the Kids. And when they slow things down a bit on “This One’s On Me,” they come across as even more talented. By the middle of the album, the band tries new things, like the soft and melodic start to “Just Pull the Trigger,” which features the sound of soft rain falling before exploding into a frenzy of fast-paced rock and the odd sounds of a person starting up their car in “Milemarker 92,” which leads into one of the band’s most punk numbers, somewhat reminiscent of Dillinger Four. “The Bottom Line” has a very punk-rock rhythm with some driving guitars and great backing vocals, having more of a post-punk or almost punk-hardcore feel than emo style. This is a great song with an excellent melodic guitar breakdown at the end. Ah, but “Fashion Before Function” is another one of those Get Up Kids songs, even down to the vocals. And it finishes off with “My Heart Pisses Blood For You,” an excellent track that’s fast-paced and powerful despite its uncomfortable title.
I hate comparing one band to another band, but for some bands it’s too obvious to not mention. To not say Cadillac Blindside sounds like The Get Up Kids would be misleading. But they also combine some other elements into their music, and they’re obviously quite talented. So as much as this album sounds familiar and this band will invariably suffer from cries of “rip-offs,” this is a good album. It rocks, pure and simple, and I’ve listened to it dozens of times. If you don’t mind another emo band, this is for you. And don’t miss the great dark gothic album art!