Mello Cads

Through the Past, Softly

by Eamon P. Joyce


At risk of setting off an East Coast/West Coast uproar of a degree not witnesses since the Tupac shooting, I have to say the Mello Cads as well as the rest of their L.A. ilk are abhorrent. The Mello Cads are a heavy gigging (Luna Park, Spaceland, etc.), white tuxedo clad, lounge/swing, quintet to whom those of us on the East Coast simply can’t relate. Perhaps it is that I can’t quite grasp the irony, the dripping kitsch, the self-absorption that the post-Swingers scene takes for granted and relishes in. However, I actually think the more salient criticism is that the music is awful. The Mello Cads and their contemporaries don’t understand that it is not the image that makes Burt Bacharach a renewed cultural icon; no, it is that Bacharach and David wrote tremendous songs which the Mellow Cads simply can’t equal.

The Cads begin with a cover of “An Afternoon Affair”, a soft jazz hit for Verill Keene in 1967, the Cads version is a bit slinky, tipped with horns and ill, cloying Casio. Next up is the Cads original, “Cad for All Seasons” complete with worst of the lounge era harmonized vocals and another organ with all the appeal of a bar mitzvah act. A cover of the Beach Boys’ “I Wanna Pick You Up” (the original hardly of the finest vintage) ensues and quickly turns the stomach. Finally, to wash down the whole spoilt concoction is the theme song “We’re the Mello Cads”, featuring the lines “We’ve come into your life to sing a song or two / Some of them quite happy some of them quite blue / After the show we’ll be partying with you / Hey Hey we’re the Mello Cads.” To avoid the Mello Cads and their kind, I’ll gladly take the bone chilling winter, the rainy, dreary spring, the Manhattan rents and even the New Jersey Turnpike. Let the East Coast/West Coast rivalry begin anew.

cover art

Mello Cads

Through the Past, Softly

(Franklin Castle)

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