KaiserCartel  March Forth
    • TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2008

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    The sentiment is mutual at the beginning of March Forth... another guy/girl happy-go-lucky couple/songwriting pair? "Oh no." Yet by the end of the record, and even the end of the opening track, the building and swooning of the songs win us over... even if we've heard it before.

    You know the story, guy meets girl, guy and girl road trip across the country touring together, fall in love, write music together, teach children as their day jobs, the usual. However there is a quaintness to the acoustic guitar/whistle combination... Benjamen Cartel and Courtney Kaiser write a nice song together (and they should, both musicians, living together in Brooklyn, the parts are all there). But again, they share our sentiments in "Season Song:"

    "these are the things/we've seen/each year"

    It's just another sunny day in the season of indie-pop. If you like the melancholic folk-ish songs of past sensative male/female duos, this is for you. Nothing too offensive, or too off the beaten path... just good old fashioned heart-on-the-sleeve tunes.

    If the songs fall flat in some places, it's because of bland lyrics, not instrumentation. And some of it can be forgiven when the duo really shines. Tracks like "Good Ones" are just well written, and stand apart as pretty musically and lyrically. Another favorite is "Okay," which makes us think that the band shows their skill the best when they take one of their seemingly boring lyrics and make it exciting with layers of instruments, rhythmic guitars, and haunting vocals. "It's Okay if you want to play dumb/it's okay if you fool everyone/it's okay if you have fun" sounds silly, but not when these two sing it. When KaiserCartel gets to the bridge of the song, we're answering "how are you feeling?" with the same response we have to the album: a resounding "pretty good."- joe puglisi

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