Music Review: Cartel, Cycles

Music Review: Cartel, Cycles

Doing some research on Cartel reveals a publicity stunt involving the band being trapped in a plastic bubble on MTV with a 20-day time limit to record their last album. Dr. Pepper sponsored the whole ordeal and, looking at the charts, the album tanked after a quick burn. Promptly, I decided to let the music […]

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Doing some research on Cartel reveals a publicity stunt involving the band being trapped in a plastic bubble on MTV with a 20-day time limit to record their last album. Dr. Pepper sponsored the whole ordeal and, looking at the charts, the album tanked after a quick burn. Promptly, I decided to let the music on their third (properly recorded) album do the talking. I was surprised to find that the band can actually write some pretty catchy hooks and melodies, albeit wrapped in alternative rock sheen. Still, Cycles is an appropriate title because you get the feeling you have heard all this before. Cartel uses the same formula that made Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American a classic (heavy guitar breakdowns and build-ups). Even fans of the band may find that Cycles is a tad bit too safe and predictable; nonetheless, it is a fun guilty pleasure. (Wind-Up Records)