Club Sandwich by Club Sandwich is the self-titled debut EP from the Maryland electro-rock producer, which like its namesake, has many layers. Green, leafy production flourishes are stacked on top of a pillow-y foundation of guitar-centric indie pop, smeared with delicious, glitched out R&B vocals and crispy digi-funk. Club Sandwich is not any one of these things by itself, rather a towering stack of all of them, a sum of its parts, complete with a frilly toothpick.
Club Sandwich's four tracks were recorded over the span of two years, and it details the flagging attention and superficial connections, fostered by instant connectivity and immediate gratification. The fact that it took two years to record and release four songs, alone, acts as an antidote to this acceleration: like a loving and soulful home cooked meal, complete with homemade bread, after dinner and conversation, versus fast food amino tubes, with no aesthetics and no substance.
While Club Sandwich is working in what could be considered an indie pop/chillwave hybrid, with some garnish of mutant R&B and glitch hop, this EP is superior to a vast majority of what you will find in any of those styles by themselves. This kind of cosmopolitan indie dance pop has been in style since the early 2000s, since the first resurgence of electro-clash, as well as the artsy angularity of guitar bands like The Strokes and their many imitators, making it a typical landing point for bands who are only trying to fit in, to win friends and imitate people.
You can hear the difference instantly with Club Sandwich, as they're painting in the same bright and bold primary hues as a lot of mainstream indie rock, but where people who are attempting to hypnotize you into taking your money tend to be brash and blaring, numbing through loudness, custom-made to be played through lousy phone and laptop speakers, Club Sandwich's electro-funk is gentle, smooth and rounded. It's hot and immediate, while still being airy with a sense of real space. It's obvious they have taken their time with this short EP, and this care, although being invisible and unnamable speaks louder than thunder and the harshest compression imaginable. Things are funny these days. The more music seeks to stand out, as its main goal, existing only to SELLSELLSELL - radio friendly unit shifters - tend to stick in the eardrums porcupine quills, in my opinion, while music that is subtle, humble and personal tends to entice and invite, luring you into repetitive listening.
To be honest, I am not too keen on this kind of glammy disco electro guitar stomp, although I dug it in the early 2000s when it was first re-emerging, mainly due to the thousands of imitators I've had rammed down past my tonsils, but Club Sandwich totally disarmed me, circumvented my defenses, making me care about its creator and wanting to hear what he had to say. Consider this your marketing lesson of the day. Focus on what you have to say and say it to the best of your ability. Spend time doting on the details. Then worry about how you're going to sell it. You might be surprised to find, it sells itself.
Club Sandwich speaks for all of us, in a voice that is warm, inviting and compassionate. Speaking his truth, and for the people around him. As a result, they're pointing the way towards a better world, a deeper connection - more enjoyment, less stress, delivered in a catchy, driving and energetic way. Perfect for getting ready to go out, or walking between tall buildings.
Recommended for fans of: Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Tokyo Police Club
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