new album released Oct 20th
from the album - Let's Go
YouTube - Cartel - "Let's Go" (Official Video) WATCH IN HD
Cartel's earnest brand of emo-pop emerged out of Atlanta in 2004, when vocalist Will Pugh, bassist Ryan Roberts, drummer Kevin Sanders, and guitarists Joseph Peppers and Nic Hudson released an initial EP that caught the ear of the California-based Militia Group label. Militia signed Cartel, and the Ransom EP reappeared under Militia's guidance in 2004. The label then released Chroma, Cartel's full-length debut, in September 2005. The album cracked into the Billboard Top 200, as bloggers championed the band and the video for "Honestly" found moderate airtime on MTV. The majors noticed all of this activity, and in early 2006, Cartel inked a deal with Epic. Touring continued through the rest of the year, as the band opened for acts like New Found Glory and the Starting Line. That same year, however, Roberts decided to leave the lineup. He was replaced by Jeff Lett, who joined just in time for the band's 2006 Warped Tour dates.
Cartel's biggest marketing break came in May of 2007, when the musicians were invited to do a four-part MTV mini-series called Band in a Bubble. The show followed Cartel as they lived in a giant bubble-shaped structure on Pier 54 in Manhattan, and filming commenced for 22 days as the guys wrote and recorded their self-titled sophomore album, Cartel. Although the album was planned for release in July (to coincide with the band's exit from the bubble), it was postponed while they filmed a video to promote the single "Lose It," and the record didn't officially hit shelves until August 21, 2007.
Cartel debuted at number 20 on the Billboard charts, selling nearly 30,000 copies during its first week. Critics remained wary of the album, however, and it fell from the charts soon after. During the year that followed, Cartel left the roster of Epic Records, partnered instead with the venerable post-grunge label Wind-Up Records, and launched work on a third album. Cycles was finished in 2009 and readied for release later that year.
Some musicians will do anything for fame. In Cartel's case, the guys went so far as to live in a Dr. Pepper-branded biosphere for 20 days, with multiple webcams tracking their every move as they banged out a new album. The ploy worked on the surface — Cartel debuted at number 20 upon its release in 2007, besting 2005's Chroma by more than 100 chart slots. The album quickly fell from the charts, however, leaving platinum-selling groups like Fall Out Boy and Paramore to carry the emo crown while Cartel licked its wounds. Released two years later, Cycles finds the group taking another stab at creating an anthemic piece of work, replete with triple-layered guitars and carpe diem lyrics. "Let me introduce myself" goes the very first line, an apt lyric for a band whose previous record evoked memories of Pauly Shore's Bio-Dome, and Cycles does a fairly good job at realigning Cartel with 2009's crop of emo-pop groups. There's a lack of truly unique elements here, though, from the overly compressed production to Will Pugh's faux-accented vocals, whose odd pronunciations ("you" turns into "you-wuh!") are straight out of the emo-pop rulebook. Songs like "Let's Go," "Deep South," "Faster Ride" do evoke a sense of teenaged uplift, but these guys are old enough to take more risks, and Cycles winds up sounding too predictable for its own good.
1 Let's Go Cartel, Pugh ... 02:40
2 The Perfect Mistake Cartel, Hollander, Katz, Pugh 03:25
3 Faster Ride Cartel, Paschke, Pugh 3:29
4 Deep South Cartel, Pugh 4:07
5 Only You Cartel, Paschke, Pugh ... 3:47
6 It Still Remains Cartel, Krompass, McCormick ... 3:35
7 27 Steps Cartel, Pugh 03:05
8 See Me Now Cartel, Pugh 3:19
9 Typical Cartel, Pugh 3:05
10 Conventional Friend Cartel, Pugh 3:27
11 Retrograde Cartel, Pugh 4:08