Cicada Sunrise - Cardinal Skin
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Cicada Sunrise are a 5-piece alternative rock band from Cleveland, Ohio.
How is it?
Firmly planted somewhere between decent and good. The songwriting on most of the Cardinal Skin is centered around crunchy, in-your-face hard rock and post-hardcore inspired riffs along with vocalist Devin Taylor's rich and smooth crooning, brimming with emotion. Each track reveals various secondary influences that wrap around this basic framework. As a result, each track is quite imposing, packing a lot of punch and throwing around a lot of weight. Despite that, the overall impact of the EP is diminished by its production. Likely the result of a low budget, the layers are often poorly arranged and often sound muddy and jumbled together, dialing back the band's ability to achieve a full-bodied sound and leaving an analysis of their real potential subject to a fair amount of guesswork. While lacking the crystal clarity appropriate for such a determination, the band's vision in their songwriting still remains clear. At heart, Cicada Sunrise is a band that's all about diversity of sound, although they appear to have some difficulty expressing it in a cohesive form. "We Were Knives" contains the poignancy of a straightforward emo confession in its twinkling melodies, "This Defense" dons the sheen of atmospheric pop over Cicada's typical feisty character, and the bridge of "Domino" contains some clear post-rock influence. The ingredients for something great are all there, but the band just needs to combine them properly with a fair dose of prudence and direction.