Spring has sprung and pop goes the weezil and that weezil is San Cisco. The Aussie quartet have spent the past five years working on their garage pop sound. They have had some success down-under with their self-titled debut album, but Gracetown is when the band leave the garage and the broken lawnmowers behind and take a step into the bright lights of commercial pop .
As an early summer heat wave spreads across the shores a bright and breezy pop album should really be the perfect excuse for a lazy summer’s afternoon. But Gracetown has the same effect as that third cheap glass in a row of Lambrini. It starts out as a sweet refreshing taste that with every sip becomes more and more saccharine and before long your head is a dizzy mist, regret and disappointment sets in.
San Cisco have been hard at work researching what it takes to make the perfect pop record: hand claps, choppy keyboard riffs and a girl/boy shared vocal treatment that has worked so well for Scissor Sisters, Naked And The Famous and countless other acts. Problem is that without any drop of originality or soul the excitement quickly sprinkles away. The singles ‘Run’ and ‘Too Much Time Together‘ are easily the best parts of the album (with the former being San Cisco’s answer to CSS ). Sadly these are the first two tracks of Gracetown and it’s pretty much dire street from here on, with the exception of the Bastille-esque ‘Snow ‘ . The rest is a mess of ultra infectious pop, but infectious like an STD. ‘Bitter Winter‘ becomes insipid after more than one play, and when they try to take it the tempo down with ‘Skool’ we’re met with a the kinda camp-fire songs that wouldn’t impress a 9-year-old cub scout.
San Cisco are best used in small doses, they have enough to muster up a couple of good singles per album, but for an entire album no, no,no. 2015 is a flush with great pop acts and this is a group who need to up their game if they want to survive . Gracetown is the audio equilvalent of brain freeze.