At first listen, James Supercave’s The Afternoon feels like the stream of consciousness of a band who hasn’t quite mastered the art of creating fully figured, compact pop songs. But over the course the album, this initially disheartening aspect of their musical style becomes what stands out on the Los Angeles based quintet’s debut release. The opening tracks, “Old Robot” and “The Right Thing” come on strong and begin with flourishes of intricate electronic arrangements that are as interesting as they are fleeting. As soon as you begin to characterize the melody, it will morph into something different altogether.
The all-over-the-map nature of the first half of the EP subsides a bit on “A Million Ways”, a more streamlined pop composition. It is the kind of work we can probably expect a little more of if the band releases a full length album as the momentum of the early tracks would be difficult to sustain for an entire album. The Afternoon takes a bit of patience, but is nothing if not intriguing, which should ignite a level of excitement for things to come.