Review: Cayucas – Bigfoot

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capsule review by ADAM OFFTIZER

Cayucas’ Bigfoot is a short and sweet instant charmer. The album’s eight songs each hover around the 3 and a half-minute mark, never overstaying their welcome. The sound is relentlessly warm and tropical, with rickety high-pitched keys, light and breezy percussion, and calm, echoed vocals. Lead singer Zach Yudin’s stories blend together, as if he’s trying to soundtrack his own coming-of-age indie romance –on three separate tracks, Yudin recalls a “high school lover,” a “summer thing,” and an “east coast girl.”

Bigfoot brings to mind two of the best quick-hitting debut albums in recent indie-rock history – the self-titled full-lengths of Vampire Weekend and Cults. The early Vampire Weekend similarities are most glaring – this album essentially takes the perfected tropical rock of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” and stretches it out into eight great tracks. Cayucas will undeniably be criticized as mimicking the Columbia quartet too closely, but I think they are able to differentiate themselves – there’s a distinctive, slow-burn groove running through some of the album’s best tracks that gives Cayucas a sound all their own (check out standout “Will The Thrill” for the best demonstration of this). Unfortunately, the band differentiates themselves in a negative way, too. Due to the simplicity of both the lyrics and the instrumentals, Bigfoot lacks the emotional depth and epic ambition that made Vampire Weekend feel like a classic – more than just a collection of good songs.

Still, just like those introductory LPs from Vampire Weekend and Cults, Bigfoot masterfully creates the illusion that Cayucas is incapable of writing a bad song. That doesn’t mean that every track is stunning – that’s definitely not the case – just that none are bad. A game-changer Bigfoot is not, but it’s a very solid debut album full of eight consistently catchy, easygoing tunes ready-made for summer beach trips, pool parties, and barbecues. [B-]

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