Over the past four years, Pas/Cal has been turning out an intriguing series of EPs. Now that their first LP is on the way, the band wraps up this successful run of short introductions with Dear Sir. Injecting their pastoral and orchestral pop with unexpected doses of krautrock and power-pop, Pas/Cal rocks harder than they ever have before albeit a bit less cohesively. While “The Lot We Came Home With” delivers the precise arrangements and precious melodies associated with their prior work, “Little Red Radio” shares much more in common with Ted Leo. Title track “Dear Sir” is another animal entirely, throbbing along with rhythmic propulsion and overlaid with scattershot guitars and dubby reverb. It’s a drastic divergence from their established sound, but they pull it off with their accustomed class. Following two incredibly focused efforts, this more experimental release is quite striking and even a bit disconcerting with their first full-length looming. Instead of perfecting their formula, Pas/Cal is getting restless and exploring new sounds. While that may make for a debut very different from what would have been anticipated after their first EP, Pas/Cal still exhibits a sense of taste and quality control sure to yield something exceptional.
// Notes from the Road
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