Solarcade – Songs for the Gathering EP

Solarcade – Songs for the Gathering

Solarcade – Songs for the Gathering EP

Solarcade simulates Coldplay on their new EP, Songs for the Gathering. Each track begs for commercial success using a sound so waxed and polished that it squirts through one ear and out the other.

This two-man, 8-year collaboration between vocalist Paul Van and guitarist Tony Pomilla builds on the FM momentum they got opening for bands like The Killers and Puddle of Mud, neither of which they sound like. This momentum includes some modest radio air time.

All the tracks on Songs for the Gathering have things in common: A drawn-out, Chris Martin-style vocal that croons during the verse with flourishes at the chorus; a muted, alternate picked electric guitar that, too, flourishes at the chorus; click track-aided drums that permit no accents other than the occasional cymbal hit … at the chorus; negligible bass lines; and synths to fill in the back. And all this comes packaged nice, tight, and crisp.

Many accuse Coldplay of sounding like a third-string, generic version of Radiohead. To me, Radiohead has three qualities that bands like Coldplay and Solarcade can’t touch: (1) the alluring, tangible tension and fragility of Thom Yorke’s vocal; (2) a finely blended totality to their compositions, a totality that resists the parsing out of particular sounds and instruments; and (3) constant intimacy in their music—live and recorded—even in their digital compositions.

Maybe Coldplay and Solarcade don’t want to be Radiohead. Well, maybe nobody is saying that they do. And, to me, neither band sounds like Radiohead because Coldplay and Solarcade do not have those qualities. At all.

Songs for the Gathering includes 6 tracks plus a bonus remix of their single, “Rise”.  “Rise”, like almost all songs on this EP, aim to be the next “Viva la Vida”. In fact, the only song that doesn’t is “When She Comes (Redux)”; the muted, alternate picked guitar chords, mechanical beat, and Chris Martin vocal are still there, but this song is less carbonated, more suitable for Adult Contemporary format than it is rock and alternative format radio. If not better, it is at least kind of different from the rest.

If you read all of this, give yourself a hug.

A&I Records