Review Summary: Plant a tree on top of a computer and you get Algernon Cadwallader.
Algernon is a favorite of mine for two reasons:
1) They're so quirky it hurts a little.
2) The unflagging happiness that they exhibit is impossible to turn away.
Now, if I had reviewed this demo when it was first released, I'd of been extremely bias. This demo was one of the first I'd ever heard, as I was just entering the world of Underground Music. The pretentiousness I emitted was unbearable, thinking that I was the first person to ever hear an underground emo tape. Algernon could do no wrong in my book, and this demo mine as well of been created by God.
Nowadays, things are a bit different. This demo remains fantastic, but it is in no way as amazing as I once saw. It holds only one major flaw, though, and that is that the rhythm of the drums occasionally wanders away. It's very brief and rare, but there nonetheless.
Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this demo. Algernon holds the key to my emotions, as they are the only band that I have ever listened to whose music can make me unconditionally happy, no matter what. Waking up to them just gets you ready to roll! It's as if their music makes everything less terrible. I've gotta do dishes? Oh, well, at least I have Algernon. Working late? Tough luck, but at least I've got Algernon. This demo flaunts Algernon Cadwallader's talent at making everything more upbeat and quirky, and it does something extremely rare for a so called, "Emo" band: this demo points out the fun in life. Where as most Emo bands wallow in their unhappiness and discontent, Algernon chooses to write music about the happiness and fun that is in everyday life, and they do this while still maintaining core Emo standards in music. The vocals are still strained and yelled, just bordering screams, the guitar remains melodic and complex, and the drums remain fast and upbeat, all standard Emo traits.
This demo has four songs: Breath Wish, Some Kind of Cadwallader, Look Down, and Second-Rate Machines. These four songs are all different in major ways, but still somehow cling to each other with small nods in sound, networking them together and giving the demo a kind of common idea. In Second Rate Machines, the sound is more planned, in that everything seems to be going to the same beat. Things change at the same time and move together, which is not true at all in Some Kind of Cadwallader. All the sounds move much more to their own accord, while still tying together nicely. Both songs hold one defining quality, though, and that is that the music flawlessly complements the vocals. The guitar, drum, and bass parts in both songs not only fit with the vocals, but refine and boost them to the point where Pete's voice is so defined that most of the passion within the song can be heard there.
In essence, this demo is nothing short of wonderful. It isn't as Godly as I thought a few years back, but it still is one of my favorite of all time, and Algernon Cadwallader remains one of my favorite bands.