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CD REVIEW: Cafebar 401
By Steve Allat - 07/01/2005 - 06:15 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Cafebar 401
CD Review: Label: Independent: Wampus Multimedia
Tracks: 11
Released: 2004
For Fans Of: Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Bush, Masters of Reality, Radiohead
Fav Tracks: Full-pro Disco, Senses Working Overtime, Troubles

Right from the start, I knew this was going to be an easy listen. There's just something about a well-produced CD of songs with a great balance of soft hooks, smooth vocals and just enough musical edge to keep your attention all the way through.

That describes the effect Cafebar 401 had on me. After I got over the name, that is, which is lost on me and perhaps the only thing I don't understand about them.
Hailing from Holland, these non-dutch sounding guys have put together a very very accessible set of danceable tunes with general all around pop sensibility. I've listened to this CD 5 times and it's definitely growing on me, even though I liked it the first time through. Drawing fair comparisons to the Foo Fighters leaves me admitting that I'd rather listen to this than Dave Grohl's retreads (he writes a killer hook, himself, but have they changed their sound at all recently?). It's got a bit more of a raw edge to it and song to song transitions are great.

The vocals are right on for the songs and the style of music. While not truly unique sounding, the vocals also don't really sound like anything else but what they should be for Cafebar 401. That to me, is a great accomplishment in itself. The voice relaxes into the songs beautifully and the songs themselves are each unique and catchy.
The rest of the music has it's interest to, a testament to the fact that principal songwriter Tije Oortwijn can infuse all aspects of each song's creation with the soft-hooks it deserves.
Even the fact that most of the songs are perhaps a bit on the 'dark' side of pop doesn't stop the enjoyment of the performances. Not when it's this well done.

There really isn't a weakness within Cafebar 401's creations (except the name, maybe?), so I would expect them to be heard somewhere. Anything less would be a shame, as this is some very good music, even if it is only just a little outside the current emo-pop trends.

This one is staying in my rotation for a while. Check it out.

Contact: Mark Doyon - Wampus Multimedia
Website: Cafebar 401 @ Wampus Multimedia
Website: Cafebar 401

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