While the Detroit area may be better known for musical phenomenons such as Motown, garage (a four-letter word to locals) rock, and white rapping, there also exists a small but formidable clan of pop (a four-letter word to most) maestros working to create hit singles for another world (a world not controlled by greedy record companies who employ producers and writers like scientists on a mission to make pop music and money from talentless, pretty-face types). People like Saturday Looks Good To Me's Fred Thomas, the bands of the Suburban Sprawl label, and Casimer Pascal from Pas/Cal have devoted much time, effort, and talent in the Detroit area to creating sonic harmony and musical beauty.
Pas/Cal in particular have been a shinning light ever since they broke onto the scene with 2003 EP The Handbag Memoirs (Le Grand Magistery). Now, five years later (and with two more EPs under their belt), the band has completed a new full-length record, to be released February 2008 on Le Grand Magistery. The 12-song LP, I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura, was mostly recorded in Casimer's garage studio over the course of three years.
He spoke about the LP via-email, saying that the record's theme is "shaped in large part by the mash-up of a Roman Catholic education and trashy pop culture (Luke & Laura were an infamous soap opera couple in the 80s)." The title, I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura, is part of a more general theme based on a song Casimer is currently working on, but one that won't be included on the release. The songs on the album may look occasionally to the past (with a few songs recalling and appearing on the aforementioned EPs) as well as the future, with Pascal stating that "I think there are things on the new LP that people who own the three EPs (Handbag Memoirs, Oh Honey We're Ridiculous, and Dear Sir) will find a bit hard to swallow at first. There have been many hints at the more adventurous side of my song writing & arrangements on previous releases, but with the full-length, I kind of got carried away with elaborate song structures and lots of words."
Further shades of The Fiery Furnaces appear when he goes on to say that "I constantly strive to write the perfect 2 and half minute pop song... sometimes it just happens two or three times within the same track!" The three "Suite Cherry" songs find the group splintered, but also features expanded duties for some members, with "Suite Cherry: Cherry Needs a Name" being sung by guitarist Gene Corduroy and his wife, and former guitarist Trevor Naud singing lead on "Suite Cherry: Cherry Tree." Even Casimer's children make an appearance, as they are pictured with him on the album's cover.
More info about the album and touring is expected in the next few weeks.
I Was Raised On Matthew, Mark, Luke & Laura tracklist: