Cale Parks, To Swift Mars

Anthony Mark Happel

Cale Parks, To Swift Mars [Polyvinyl]

Cale Parks has been the drummer in both Aloha and White Williams, but on this EP he steps to the microphone as a solo artist for the third time, following 2006’s Illuminated Manuscript and 2008’s Sparklace, and once again offers up a piece of his very own musical soul for our listening pleasure.

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His oeuvre stays mostly within the parameters of the electro-pop arena, but his influences are subtle and murky and he can move around the dial with proficiency, despite the electronic beats that sometimes confine his songwriting.

While he cites Depeche Mode and New Order as influences, the cold and distant “Eyes Won’t Shut” is actually more Gary Numan-esque. He becomes somewhat more human on “Running Family”; and gets even more organic on “Knight Conversations,” which, believe it or not, conjures up images of Crooked Fingers. When he finally lets his instincts loose, and out of the beat-box, it gives rise to “Crystal Air,” a suave and elegant pop-construct, and the best song on this record. Parks has proven he can go the distance on his own. Now, he must show the world he can continue to reinvent and challenge himself as a songwriter.

 
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