Los Angeles indie scions James Supercave write music with an uncommon meticulousness. The trio of Joaquin Pastor, Andrés Villalobos and Patrick Logothetti mince-not words nor notes and with their new single they intend to put you on notice: change is at hand. Building upon their “Alarm Will Sound” EP released earlier this year, the band take a turn toward the dark with the dystopian alt-anthem “Poor George.”
“‘Poor George’ is a mock pity party for the male species. George is the man whose daddy handed him the keys to the castle and showed him how to be a man. But the times are changing and the growing pains are real,” says Pastor. From the outset the buoyancy of the song’s groove is betrayed by the ragged strum of a forlorn guitar and the uncannily emotive sonic flourishes of Logothetti. An intentional starkness lingers in the arrangement of the verses that tacitly signal their instructive nature, propping the lyrics up like the epitaph on a headstone: “takes a drag through the hole in his neck / He’s a Marlboro man / Daddy said we could ride forever/ What’s the backup plan?”
Per Pastor, “I sing from multiple points of view because I have a love/hate relationship with George. Same with men. Same with myself. It’s not a popular subject to sing about but ultimately, this song is about male tears.” A song of conflict, “Poor George” heralds paradigm shift.
Heading into the song’s linchpin verse Villalobos’ strum hits like the strike of a match: “When you’re a star they let you do it / Don’t ask me how / It’s quiet in the dressing room / The women all got loud.” If you listen closely, buried in Pastor’s indictment lie hidden vocals still. Ascending the peak of the song’s tortured crescendo, synth swells ape the doomed wail of a klaxon ringing out, inciting a penetrating sense of dread as Pastor’s voice is run ragged, contorting into a mocking sneer.
A tale of pride before the fall, “Poor George” is a deftly crafted allegory that bracingly confronts our political climate.
||| Stream: “Poor George”
||| Also: Stream “Falling”
||| Live: James Supercave plays Nov. 1 at the Locker Room in Garden Grove, with Low Hum, Skin Mag and Gomi Neko opening. Tickets.