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Cartel - In Stereo EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.5
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7.5
Production 7.5
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.5
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 6
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 7
Production 7.25
Creativity 5.5
Lasting Value 6
Reviewer Tilt 5
Average: 63%
Inside AP.net

Cartel - In Stereo EP

Reviewed by: Ryan Gardner (09/27/11)
CartelIn Stereo EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: October 4, 2011


A lot has changed for Cartel since the release of 2009’s beloved Cycles. Bassist Jeff Lett left the band and was not replaced. More importantly, the band decided to split from Wind-Up Records and release In Stereo entirely independently. Still, the transition from Cycles to now shows no missteps, as this EP picks up right where Cartel’s last fantastic attempt left off.

With only five songs to work with, Cartel leave nothing behind throughout In Stereo. As always, Will Pugh soars as a vocalist, exercising an unforgettable vocal performance on “Conduit” over piercing guitars. The musicianship shines on each track, highlighted by guitars mixing wonderfully with the unique vocal delivery on the infectious “American Dreams.” Pugh truly shines on the closing “Something To Believe” which may be the catchiest track on the EP – although it really is hard to choose what song deserves that title.

While choruses soar on each track, it’s not all pop and no punk here. The title track is fast-paced and driven by the call-and-return vocals courtesy of Pugh and Joseph Pepper. The song expresses the angst felt by the band throughout the past couple years. As Pugh belts out, “This is for real a record deal / Trading money for art / I had a plan to start a band / But now it’s falling apart,” it’s evident that this hasn’t been the easiest road for Cartel since their start in 2005

Clocking in at just about the fifteen minute mark, In Stereo proves that Cartel have yet to lose their edge, despite the myriad of changes lately. It will leave fans craving to hear more from the band, but until then, this EP will be blasting in stereos for months to come.

7.5/10

Recommended If You LikeIt’s Cartel, you know by now if you like them or not

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Lessons In Love
2. American Dreams
3. Conduit
4. In Stereo
5. Something To Believe

Cartel are:
Will Pugh – Vocals
Joseph Pepper – Guitar
Nic Hudson – Guitar
Kevin Sanders – Drums

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32.
06:35 PM on 09/27/11
#2
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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Another great one, Ryan. Really looking forward to this EP, although I wish it was longer. I had it in my head that this would be 7-9 tracks, like the recent Hawthorne Heights EP.
07:03 PM on 09/27/11
#3
MyFriendsOver
Your pictures are already burned.
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If I can pry myself away from Radiosurgery, I will be happy to check this out next week! I remember a very catchy demo that we heard a month or so ago "I could get over you right now..."
05:26 AM on 09/28/11
#4
Clockwork00
Write it on the walls and read it.
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I wish there was a slow song on here, but it's hard to be disappointed by Cartel. Does anyone know where I can preorder a physical version of this?
07:03 AM on 09/28/11
#5
Ryan Gardner
@RyanGardnerC
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I wish there was a slow song on here, but it's hard to be disappointed by Cartel. Does anyone know where I can preorder a physical version of this?
Digital only
08:24 AM on 09/28/11
#6
Memphis
Eight miles high and falling fast
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Sounds great, I loved Cycles...
08:35 AM on 09/28/11
#7
scott!athedisco
Regular Member
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Was Cycles really "beloved?" I got the impression it didn't do so hot. I thought it was pretty forgettable beyond "Let's Go" and "Perfect Mistake." Liked what I heard from this EP so far though!
08:54 AM on 09/28/11
#8
punchlinekid182
This wind changed me
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If I can pry myself away from Radiosurgery, I will be happy to check this out next week! I remember a very catchy demo that we heard a month or so ago "I could get over you right now..."

Feel the same way about radiosugery
09:00 AM on 09/28/11
#9
Dodge725
Roll Tide Roll
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When I saw beloved, I thought you were talking about Chroma. Cycles had a few good ones but was far from beloved.
10:55 AM on 09/28/11
Evilcow8675309
Registered User
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I was extremely excited for this album, but I won't be picking it up since it's digital only. Cartel should know that some of us folks still use the CD players in our cars.
11:22 AM on 09/28/11
Ryan Gardner
@RyanGardnerC
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Pretty sure Cycles was much well-liked around here? I know I love it - although yes, Chroma is my favorite
11:23 AM on 09/28/11
brandon_260
Ah, yes.
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Everyone I've talked to thinks Cycles is great.
01:52 PM on 09/28/11
trevorshmevor
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Despite my dislike for it, Cycles was generally praised around AP.net. I remember, it was one of those "uhh, really?" moments for me haha. To each their own I guess.

I like what I've heard from this EP though, I'll be picking it up once it releases.
02:41 PM on 09/28/11
AdamChildress
Wondrous Oblivion.
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I'll give this a listen. I've never be able to get into this band for the life of me, but I'm willing to get it another shot.
02:48 PM on 09/28/11
OurLadyCoolbean
False. Black bears.
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Definitely didn't love Cycles but I'll be sure to check this out anyway
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