Genre: Pop Punk/Pop Rock
I definitely should have reviewed this album earlier, but it fell by the wayside with all the stuff I’ve been doing lately. I’m not sure if this album is actually self-titled, because I can’t find the name of it anywhere. Regardless, Columbian Mustache’s full-length album is catchy, humorous, interesting, and fun. The sound is basically a mix of pop rock and pop punk, which is a brilliant blend of sound and style. The style allows for flexibility and experimentation in the music, as well as an avenue to let out the band’s humor, especially when it comes to song titles (“April Showers Bring May Flowers”, “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”, etc.). The upbeat sound and lack of too much heavy distortion or brutality is a breath of fresh air in this musical day and age. I applaud them for keeping things pretty optimistic, and it makes their music seem all the more enjoyable to listen to (all the pessimists out there are hissing, I can tell). “Themes and Variations on Bill” is a pretty good song to start the album with, giving you a sense of what’s to come for the rest of the record. It’s catchy and fun, and has great lyrical personality (though I have no idea who Bill is…), but it’s somewhat sloppy. That would be my only major criticism here; some of the songs don’t seem very rhythmically coherent, and just a little too busy. Yet, you can tell that this band plays very well together. For a trio, they have a tremendous atmosphere that makes them sound like more than just three guys. The musicianship is phenomenal, and their guitar riffs stand out significantly. The vocals are excellent as well, especially during the harmonizing parts. The production, I would say, is pretty good. It’s not spotless, but it certainly does the music justice and makes everything sound clear. I was happy to hear Pat Malowski of Atticus Finch featured on “Tony Montana” and “Durka”, as I think this demonstrates the great camaraderie of the 315 music scene. As I mentioned earlier, I especially love the versatility they are able to show for their genre as a pop punk-rock band. “Digging a Grave” is a bit heavier than, say, “Themes and Variations on Bill”, while “Now Leaving Stars Hollow” is a little more riff-driven than other songs. I would like to see a little more variation in sound on their next record, but this album is definitely a great start to expand upon their potential to be a very unique and very well-known band. So, I would say that Columbian Mustache has a bright future ahead of them, and I can’t believe they only have 110 Facebook fans as of now, because they deserve many (possibly thousands) more.
Key Tracks: “Love, Daisies, and Troubadours”, “Durka (feat. Pat Malowski)”, “Carnivalum”, “Digging the Grave”
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