San Cisco

The Water

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Over the course of two albums, Australia's San Cisco have proven themselves to be a reliable source for candy-coated, somewhat lightweight, '80s-style dance-rock. With their third full-length album, 2017's similarly appealing The Water, they do nothing to dissuade listeners from coming to the same aesthetic conclusion. Produced by the band along with Steve Schramm (who also took over bass duties from Nick Gardner who injured his foot prior to recording) the album once again features the talents of guitarist/vocalist Jordi Davieson, drummer/vocalist Scarlett Stevens, and drummer Josh Biondillo. Together, they offer up a frothy meringue of new wave-influenced pop anthems rife with driving basslines, snappy rubber band guitars, laser-tone synths, and lyrics about falling in love, partying all night, and overcoming minor relationship hiccups. What they don't offer enough of are memorable songs. While cuts like the disco-funk lead-off "Kids Are Cool" and the Rick Springfield-esque "The Boy" come the closest to bona fide earworms, most of the tracks here are of the pleasantly enjoyable, wouldn't-switch-the-radio-dial, in-one-ear-out-the-other variety. Even when they get your head bobbing, as on the bubblegum groover "Slo Mo," they do so while reminding you just how much you really liked that one MGMT album. In fairness, it's not as if classic dance-rock acts like Duran Duran or even contemporary ones like Phoenix made their careers plumbing the depths of their souls for weighty emotional themes that rock your world. They do, however, land one or two utterly euphoric, soundtrack-level pop hooks on each album. Ultimately, on The Water, San Cisco enter the ring, but never land the pop K.O.

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