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Cristobal and the Sea - Peach Bells EP

"Peach Bells EP"

Cristobal peach bells
28 November 2014, 11:30 Written by Jon Putnam
It’s clearly November. We’ve endured a solid 48 hours of rain at temperatures just aggravatingly low enough to cause discomfort. Plus, here in the US, it’s Thanksgiving week, a time for us to reflect and give thanks, eat obscene amounts, watch sports as we give way to food coma, then resume the Christmas bludgeoning commercial society insists upon us each year. Hey, I’m ready; let’s quit pining for and trying with futile effort to grapple onto the last vestiges of summer. Give me my wool coat and hat, show me trees and Santa and lights at every turn, pour me a hot drink and play me my warm, billowy dream pop and shoegaze by the fire.

<Sigh>….and here comes these guys and gal from Cristobal and the Sea and their balmy, sun-bleached Peach Bells EP. Look, I’ve packed it in for the year, friends, no sense in trying me till at least next Spring. Plus, who’s got the time in this season of the year to give pause for properly mellowing and dancing to this stuff? I’ll admit, it’s at least authentic, forged from their Spain-Portugal-Corsica bloodline (oh, the drummer’s British <yawn>) and a genuine interest in the musical styles of the Central and South Americas. Ah, but you know what, my two year old is just learning to talk and I expend enough mental and auditory energy each day trying to decipher him, the last thing I need is whooping and hollering and, admittedly, sexy murmurs lobbed at me in other languages. No, I don’t know Spanish or Portuguese – come on, I’m American, I consider myself fortunate to have retained a rudimentary knowledge of French from a decade and a half ago.

It really is a generous offering though, guys; five tracks and all of them full-length, honest to God songs. If I were to suspend reality and pretend, this pair of “Gardens” and “Disquiet” easily sets me on my lounge chair splitting time between playing footsies with the Caribbean tides washing ashore and shading my pasty ass in my beach side cabana. Oh, and some fruity adult drink would have to figure as well. As wonderfully insistent as your tasty guitar syncopation and agile rhythm section are, unless it’s in the car by my lonesome, I need some of that liquid courage to bust a proper move. That next pair, though, “Violet Tear” and “My Love (Ay Ay Ay)”, flips the daylight switch off and tosses me into the sultry Cuban alleyways and nightclubs. Respectively, slow, shady, seedy and neon-light intense, I can both bide my time leering across the dark mahogany bar and then slather myself in others’ wonderfully stinking, sticky, sexy sweat on the dance floor.

“Zorro”, now that’s a TV show to me, though evidently it’s “fox” in Spanish. Either way, the abandonment of the previous tracks’ immediacy for its focused, metronomic quality sends me out to sea bound for the horizon. That is, until a calypso rejoinder in the coda offers me one last souvenir of my wild time before I wake back up and remember, yes, it’s nearly fucking Winter. So, thanks but no thanks right now, Cristobal and the Sea, hit me back when its shorts and t-shirt weather, hopefully with a LP next time round. For now, where’s my copy of Loveless….ah, fuck it, hand me a margarita and get out of my way…..Cristobal and the Sea, you all-too-persuasive magnificent bastards.

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