When you see “indie rock” in a band’s description, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re going to get, because it’s such a wide genre. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to The Cartographers, but with influences like Jukebox The Ghost and Fall Out Boy, I was prepared to love the band’s Behind Your Eyes EP.
The first thing that struck me about this album was the lead singer’s voice – it’s unique, and sounds vaguely like Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fronted an indie rock band. Since I’m biased and love his voice, of course I was hooked, but that’s barely scraping the surface of why I liked this EP so much.
The Cartographers have a light-hearted sound, as do most indie rock/pop artists, but they lack no support. It’s not superficial or shallow-sounding, thanks to the killer guitar that’s layered behind pretty piano. Pop-punk influences shine through as well with heavy instrumentals and powerful vocals.
Usually, I can pick a favorite track easily – but out of these five songs, I’m having trouble. You’ve got Behind Your Eyes‘s catchiness, the awesome guitar solo in Buzzkill, and Carry Me Away, which is somehow both delicate and intense. The EP ends with a cover of two Jukebox The Ghost songs that lead into one another, My Heart’s The Same and Lighting Myself on Fire, that manage to sound like they were written to be a part of The Cartographers’s discography.
The band lists Death Cab as one of their influences. I must admit, I’ve never really listened to them – my brother always brushed them off as too angsty, and for a long time, I looked up to his music taste like it was holy. Of course, that ended with his first Death Grips concert (Just kidding! Love you, Jacob!).
Anyway, The Cartographers make me want to listen to Death Cab. If they’ve influenced The Cartographers, who I’ve seriously enjoyed over the course of just these five songs, then clearly they’re worth checking out. And keep an eye on The Cartographers, because they’re still playing shows in Columbus!