[12 August 2007]
Cape May is a pleasent little fishing town on the southern tip of New Jersey. The Cape May is a low key textured rock band from Calgary, Canada. Apparently, no relation. The Promo material for Glass Mountain Roads explains how this album is not for “casual listeners”. “The themes, stories and textured conveyed in the compositions completely unfold after repeated listens,” so the PR Gods proclaim. And, while this may seem like a giant cop out its not necessarily very far from the truth. The Cape May is not an act who will likely floor you the minute you hear them. The band’s layered mood rock grows on you just about as slowly as its lugubrious down-tempo selections trod on throughout their debut album. Master engineer Steve Albini lends his talents to the effort to make those moody layers, just that much moodier. Clinton St. John’s lazy vocal delivery has nonchalance of The National’s Matt Berninger although he intermittenly conjures up Jeremy Enigk, such as on “Mari”—a surprisingly sweet affair among the downtrodden. Although there is something intrinsically beautiful about these whispery tunes, The Cape May’s vaguely depressing inclinations tend to weigh the effort down.