Grade: 84% (B)
Cold Blue Kid is the Chicago based group formed around the talents of front man Alex Longoria. While I disregarded any major comparisons to the sounds of Broken Social Scene in my first post regarding the group, after listening to their new EP Mimic I have admittedly fallen in love with their closeness to that BSS sound we all love. The record has the gritty lo-fi feel of the lower-tiered Broken Social Scene work that gets no credit for vein great tracks. There is no "7/4 Shoreline" or "Texico Bitches" here, instead there are songs likened to "Major Label Debut," "Highway Slipper Jam," and almost anything off of the BSS EPs.
From the very start of "Hearts of Steel," you understand that the talent of the band is based around the guitar work. However, the strong and soothing synths layering underneath the poppy guitar work show the band's development from their first releases. Longoria sings of this growth and progression on the opening track with a positive outlook on where things are headed.
The addition of the full band around him has certainly helped with this development. While most of the songs are clearly the brainchild of Longoria and his singer-songwriter ability with an acoustic guitar, other band members shine on certain tracks. The burning jam "Setback" is crafted around a simple and churning bassline and the lead guitarist takes the lead singing. The song is repetitive in nature yet concludes with a short burst of guitar that leaves you wanting more as it slowly deflates.
This cohesiveness helps the record tremendously as a whole. It seems as if each of the chilled out tracks features very strong guitar work surfaced with floating synths, a simple bassline, and piloted by impressive percussion. This is certainly headphone music yet songs like "Maybetown" could certainly impress a crowd with a diverse musical taste. The overall instrumentation is clearly the lead, as the vocals take a background sense. However, the talents of this group are undeniable, and maybe their next release they will come forward with their singing and truly turn some heads.
Mimic is due out February 14th.