For five years, Cartoon Bar Fight has gone through lineup changes, with only two of the founding members left: Kendall Sallay and Dirk Milotz. Despite the instability, they’ve mastered a few songs along the way. Following their release of their debut EP, Tell All The Children, almost exactly last year to date ( Nov. 18th), the San Jose band presents a full album showcasing songs they have long waited to present.
Beautiful, haunting melodies create a surreal, peaceful mood on CBF’s Reincarnate. Starting fresh after a previous life seems to be the theme for CBF, from their original formation to now. In a sense they have reincarnated themselves in the process of releasing this album.
The album starts with an eerie organ-like movement, “A Beautiful Death” (the same title as the album artwork by Terry Fan), and into “Dear Victoria,” a solemn song almost styled as a shanty. “Circus” continues in the same vein with a cry for change as the ending chant repeats the lyrics “I sleep too often, when will I awake?” and “I know I’ve fallen away.”
The title track, “Reincarnate,” helps close the album with much more hopeful lyrics for life and change as heard in the chorus, “in life and death, disappear, change your shape, reappear, reincarnate” before the final song “A Beautiful Life.”
The album really shows a much darker and reflective side of CBF not present in Tell All The Children, with more musical development, instrumentation depth and richness to their songs.
Highlight Tracks: The Marquee, Reincarnate, The Kingdom Of