The San Cisco story began in a pretty familiar way. Fremantle kids, 18 years old, form band in garage, write songs, put out EPs, see what happens. This is where things go a bit nuts. One of the tracks from one of these EPs was called Awkward – a cute-as-a-button call-and-response tune which went absolutely bananas with the nation’s youth vote and eventually landed in the top ten of triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown. From there it was all sold-out shows, international record deals and phone commercials. Now, we witness their next step – a self-titled debut album. After all the dust has cleared and you’ve finally managed to get Awkward out of your head, one question remains: is San Cisco any good?
Short answer: yes. San Cisco is, at its core, an old fashioned pop record for a modern age. Never outstaying its welcome, it borrows bits and pieces from the best British and American guitar pop of the last decade and fashions them into an intoxicating whole. There’s a little Vampire Weekend, a dash of Foster The People with just a tad of Metronomy in there as well. The difference between San Cisco and other groups of their ilk is the way their magpie tendencies come without a hint of pretension, leading more to a kaleidoscopic homage than a flat-out rip-off. Opener Beach and latest hit Wild Things both owe instrumental debts to Gorillaz, but Scarlett Stevens’ distinctively deadpan vocals make them very worthy additions. In fact, just about every track on San Cisco could be a single and, with the way things have gone over the past year, there’s every chance they will be.
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