Solarcade is the musical brainchild of Las Vegan Paul Van and Los Angeleno Tony Pomilla, who strive to be a kind of Coldplay for the high-minded crowd. Unfortunately, the band rarely achieves its lofty anthemic goals, causing Songs for the Gathering—the band’s third recording—to come off more like a watered-down Snow Patrol.
- Songs for the Gathering
- Beyond the Weekly
- Solarcade MySpace
The disc starts off innocently enough, with Van’s British-sounding falsetto (he grew up in South Africa) surging above Pomilla’s guitar arpeggios and a rapid drumbeat. On “Rise,” the music builds to a less-than-memorable chorus, takes a brief turn for the bridge, then returns to the opening riff. Fine. But Solarcade repeats this formula for nearly every song, the main exception being a remixed version of the aforementioned “Rise.”
Combined with Van’s slightly sanctimonious lyrics (“Let me rise for you/So you can feel it, too”), it all starts to feel like one of those jangly, faux-inspiring soundtracks for a religious summer-camp recruitment video.