Cartel, a pop-punk band from Atlanta, GA, will be releasing their fourth full length album, Collider, on March 26th. Every track on the album is fresh and dynamic. The band states “Collider is the culmination of 3 years worth of life, love, and reflection” when discussing the new album on their Facebook page. When listening to the album it was obvious that there were many stories and points of view that contributed to each song.
The album kicks off with “Second Chances,” a song about what you want to be, what reality is, and wanting a second chance to start over. It seems to me that this is the band’s way of saying they’re going to start with a fresh sound with a new album. The first time I heard “Take Me With You” I really liked the beat and could feel the song building up to the chorus and then it just fell flat. Don’t get me wrong, it will get stuck in your head like it does mine and I like it more each time I listen to it, the song just didn’t stand out like some of the others. I love the message of keeping your head up and not letting people get you down in “First Things First”. It’s a great lead in into “Best Intentions,” which is a slower song on the album but still powerful.
The only way I can think to describe “Thin Air”, “Uninspired”, and “Sympathy” is refreshing and clear. They’re super easy to listen to and have a great beat. “Thin Air” is about a relationship ending; it has much more of a pop sound than some of the other songs on the album and is super catchy. “Uninspired” seems to be about the band refusing to give up and questioning the point of being musicians if they’re not spreading a message and doing exactly what they want to do. “Sympathy” has a great beat, the drums set the tone through the entire song. When I was listening to these songs all I wanted to do was put the album in my car and go for a drive with the windows down. My favorite line in “Mosaic” is I’m still young / I’m still free, which captures the feeling of this album as a whole.
“Disconnect” is my favorite song on the album. This is the bands punch in your face of “this is who we are and we’re not going anywhere”; it’s very dynamic in both musicality and lyrics. A similar tone to “Disconnect” is carried into “Collider”, another hard hitting, true pop punk song, which from what I have gathered, is about combining all of their experiences “when their worlds collide” and not being able to hide from those experiences. The album closes on a different note with “A Thousand Suns”, which is a light, airy ending to a dynamic and powerful record.
All in all, Collider has a bright and clear sound that will lead us into summer. This is the album that you’re going to listen to on a road trip or out at the beach. I love the direction Cartel is taking with their music; fans will not be disappointed in the least.