Reviews The Pauses A Cautionary Tale

The Pauses

A Cautionary Tale

Remember when you were a little kid getting tucked into bed? Then someone would reach for a thin book with a shiny gold spine, and they would read you a bedtime story? Well, I don’t, but I certainly remember the books. It was my affinity for those books that drew me towards The Pause’s debut album, A Cautionary Tale, which is an exceptional Indie-Rock record with a cover that serves as an homage to Little Golden Books.

They open the album with arguably the best track, and one of the better Indie-Rock openers of the year, “Go North.” It’s a straightforward rock number harboring catchy riffs, beautiful harmonies, and topping it off with a subtle horn background in the bridge. It could be misleading though. Before you know it, they’re going to start diverting from that Rock sound beginning with the contrasting, “Beyond Bianca.” This track is slower paced—using synthesizers to produce an ominous opening. The song gets heavier as it progresses before an explosive outro. They keep the slower pace with, “The Migration,” and get even more diverse making the Rhodes piano the primary lead. After 2 slower tracks, you’d hope they would pick things back up. However, they do the opposite, and slow down the tempo more in the smoky number, “Pull the Pin.” They’ve brought back the Rhodes to create a real lounge-esque track with eerie harmonies—building up to another heavy rock outro, while Tierny Tough continues to sing with her soothing vocals.

The second half of the album starts off with the weakest song on A Cautionary Tale. The Pauses alter their direction a bit on, “The Leap Year,” by assembling a more electronic and program oriented song. It’s executed well, but it’s such a bore. Following is the beautifully orchestrated, “Hands Up.” They keep you on their road of change and progression utilizing more programming, but adding in violins and piano. I’m probably going way out of bounds, but it almost sounds as if they were influenced by Nine Inch Nails’, “Right Where It Belongs” or “The Great Below.” They start to pick things up before the album’s closer with, “Little Kids.” It’s the most upbeat song since the album’s opener. They come full circle by using nearly all the elements they picked up along the way for a more direct--but diverse--pop-rock song. They close the album with, “Goodbye, Winthorpe,” which is an instrumental track. It’s kept subtle and then builds into a monstrous jam session. Following 14 seconds of silence is a hidden track that really brings the album to a perfect close with an enchanting ukulele duet.

It may take a few listens to really acquire a taste for the sluggish feel of the record, but it’s worth it. The songwriting is top notch and considerably diverse. Although, more songs like, “Go North,” would have really benefitted the flow. J Robbins did a magnificent job on the production and the cover’s awesome. Hopefully, A Cautionary Tale and The Pauses will get the attention they deserve.

8.7 / 10Aaron H
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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8.7 / 10

8.7 / 10

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