05.20: Caddywhompus – Republic
05.21: Here We Go Magic + Brass Bed + Caveman – Howlin’ Wolf Den
05.24: Marathon + Algernon Cadwallader + Snowing + 1994! – Dragon’s Den
The first thirty seconds of Algernon Cadwallader‘s debut album, Some Kind of Cadwallader, set the stage for what is best described as a sensory trip down memory lane, a reversal of roles between new and old, authentic and nostalgic. This group of young Philadelphia musicians has spent the better part of the last five years unapologetically tracing the lineage of the now out-of-common-use genre of rock known as “Emo”, sifting through the abrasive screams of its immature late-80s form and the pompous studio sheen of its new millenium bastardization to find an under-appreciated formula from the mid-90s that made the emo designation – at least at the time – so appealing, accessible, and ultimately cool. What Algernon has come up with is at worst an enjoyable throwback record and at best a completely revisionist attitude toward the genre’s chronology hellbent on restoring integrity to the hard work that bands like Cap’n Jazz, Braid, and American Football put in more than decade ago.
However, Algernon Cadwallader embody more than just a back-to-basics approach to post-punk. While all the most endearing qualities of emo’s Kinsella era – raw vocals, tinny dueling guitars, and soft-edged yet lively thrashing drums – are present in Some Kind of Cadwallader, the band’s use of off-the-wall nick knacks, subtle keyboard and melodica, and 13-minute instrumental jams give it the air of creative progression, the next logical step in an alternate universe where Vagrant Records never signed a massive distribution deal and Drive-Thru wasn’t simply an indie front for MCA Records. That penchant for unconventional instrumentation and song structures is even more apparent on Algernon’s most recent EP, Fun, where non-stop forward-facing rhythms, abstract double-guitar interplay, and seemingly chorus-less vocals have become the norm for the group.
After a long wait, Algernon Cadwallader will finally be making their way down to New Orleans with Pennsylvania compatriots 1994! and Snowing, joined by local band Marathon at the Dragon’s Den.
05.25: Felix + Microshards + Empress Hotel – The Saint
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