Review: San Cisco ‘Golden Revolver’

Perth teenage four-piece San Cisco have released their first EP, ‘Golden Revolver’, and it’s a killer debut full of singles, great pop tunes, and above all else an impressive amount of diversity. It manages the impossible task of sounding retro and modern; youthful and mature. There really is something here for pretty much anyone that appreciates indie pop music in any form.

Opening track Golden Revolver is a single in the truest sense of the word, passing in a happy blur of summer, punctuated only by the lyrics of “Why would I try, when you’re not even remotely kind?”. That jingly jangly guitar riff is reminiscent of a whole range of other acts, but the track as a whole sounds very unique, due in no small part to the vocal interplay of lead singers and songwriters Jordi and Josh. Have a listen.

Girls Will Cry is more of the same, only with a bit more oomph, as well as a sexy video clip featuring footage of independent fashion designers that the band’s drummer Scarlett discovered on a music blog.

As if aware that some people might be tempted to label the EP a straightup indie pop record at this point, the third track, John’s Song, is entirely different, and really does demonstrate a maturity in songwriting almost bewildering coming from a bunch of teenagers. “I don’t want to work in no factory, so I packed my bag and headed for the trees… I said pa I’m going to see the world, I’m going to see it all. I’m going to be all that I can be and more”. It’s much more of a folk number than the preceding songs, but also works just as well in implanting itself in your head, if not better.

Just to prove it’s not a fluke, San Cisco follow up with another simply superb folk song, Spangled Streets, structured around a banjo that by all rights should sound out of place but just seems to fit into the EP so perfectly. That they have constructed an EP this diverse but yet retained a sense of continuity is a true indicator of the talent of this Perth outfit. The EP closes with a cover of fellow Perth band Tame Impala’s signature track Solitude Is Bliss, and while it’s a nice touch and they do the track justice, there can be little doubt that it’s the songs San Cisco have written themselves that should be getting all the attention here.

‘Golden Revolver’ is a triumphant debut that illustrates how much potential San Cisco has, but even more impressively it is a great listen in its own right, and would be getting a lot of attention even if it were coming from an established, much more mature band. The fact it’s written and performed by four teenagers adds to its charm, but shouldn’t detract from the undeniable strength of the music itself. The beginning banter of the Tame Impala cover included here perhaps best illustrates the youthful and fun approach taken by San Cisco in recording their music: “Can I please play the cowbell?”.

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(free download of both tracks featured here available from Unearthed)

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