Cartel ‘In Stereo’ EP Review

American pop/punk band Cartel have released a deluxe version of their May 2011 EP ‘In Stereo’. The Deluxe version includes the five original tracks from the EP as well as acoustic versions, and previously unreleased track ‘No Motivation’.

 EP opener ‘Lessons in Love’ is an upbeat and cheerful track with punchy verses and an insanely dance-y chorus that will undoubtably have crowds fiercely bouncing along in no time. Reminiscent of bands such as You Me At Six and Kids in Glass Houses this track will definitely get the blood pumping and get the party going.

‘American Dreams’ slows things down a bit and shows a calmer side to the band, whilst still retaining their pop/punk feel. It shows that there are both shades of light and dark throughout the EP and they are not just a party band, or not just a band that has a heavy message behind every song; they can mix it up a bit.

Likewise with ‘Conduit’, the crunching opening guitars foreshadow a somewhat darker sound, almost brooding, like waiting for a storm to hit.
This darker vibe is then reflected in the lyrics, “I am conscious of the storm That’s brewing inside/Yes, it’s coming to life/ No where to run/ No where to hide.” The boys take their sound and mould it to give their songs these vibes but always come out with a sound that is undeniably Cartel.

‘In Stereo’ and EP closer ‘Something to believe’ circle back to the happy, party vibe of ‘Lessons in Love’. ‘In Stereo’ brings it to a certain extent but ‘Something to believe’ explodes with it. It’s a full on party that you would be hard pressed to stand still to; its infectious chorus will no doubt have you moving. It’s also a relatable and emotional song, the lyrics “We just wanna believe in something/ To make them feel at home/ We wanna believe in something/ So they feel less alone/ Will you be my answer now to everything? /So I feel less alone” seem like an affectionate embrace from the band to the listeners, like a message that they can be there for one another and help one another through the music – whether it be making it or listening to it – creating a sense of community. It’s a song that I can imagine being a massive crowd pleaser and an excellent show closer, as it leaves you feeling uplifted with a smile on your face.

Therefore, it’s kind of like the EP is giving the listener a taster of everything the band is capable of, and it definitely works.

The Deluxe EP also includes acoustic versions of tracks ‘Lessons in Love’, ‘American Dreams’, ‘In Stereo’ and ‘Something to believe’, and unreleased track ‘No Motivation’ which you will have to go and download to hear it – I’ve got to keep some surprises haven’t I? 😛

But, if that’s not enough, here’s something else to wet your Cartel appetite.

Cartel Perform ‘Say Anything Else’:


The deluxe version of Cartel’s ‘In Stereo’ is now available at iTunes in the UK & Europe – featuring 5 bonus tracks. Download it here:


8 thoughts on “Cartel ‘In Stereo’ EP Review

  1. Great review, you’ve inspired me to check out some of their stuff. 🙂

    How are you these days? I asked you when I replied to your comment on my blog but I didn’t get an answer hehe. x

    • Aww thank you 🙂 let me know what you think!
      Oh really? I didn’t get a notfication saying you’d replied, otherwise I would have. I’m okay though thank you, been a hectic couple of months but it’s all calming down and getting better now 🙂 how about you? xx

      • Haha yeah no worries, I have problems with that stuff sometimes too!

        I have to admit I’m at the height of stress right now because my two final exams are next week and I haven’t done nearly enough revision, so I’m praying for some kind of miricle! Haha.

        Life stressful in a good way or a bad way? 🙂 x

      • Haha yeah they are the English system of ALevels if that’s what you mean, but the subjects are Psychology and Media, I used to take Art Graphics as well but that’s all finished now.
        I’m off to check out your book posts. 🙂

  2. haha I’m English, I know what A-levels are – I just meant are you studying English 🙂 😛 I had a friend who did Psych he said it was quite hard, I did media studies too, really enjoyed that! ooh that’s cool 🙂 yaaay

    • Haha, cool I just wanted to check! :p No, suprizingly I don’t actually do English, I don’t really like English class, or at least I didn’t at GCSE anyway. I found whichever books we looked at I ended up hating because I associated them with school and we just went over and over them too much. Strange but true. 🙂

      • Yeah I got that too! I love analysing poetry and analysing novels but it does kind of ruin the books for you because you look into them in sooo much detail, by the end of it it’s like ‘urgh!’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s