Even though Atlanta’s Michael Cera Palin gained a dark mark for their band name on our podcast last week, it’s important to recognize that their celebrity portmanteau doesn’t detract from the repartee on their second EP, streaming below. I Don’t Know How to Explain It is emo sprinkled with mud and gristle. It operates with a crosstrained license in pop-punk self-sabotage (“Admiral”), math-flecked propulsion (“Southern Comfort”), and threaded post-punk (“Go Home. Play Music. Feel Better.”). This trio even finds time to cover Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” a song that was built for this scene’s macro-level attention to torched love and couchstuck indifference. (The lyrics aren’t even changed, and it still reads like a You’re Gonna Miss it All B-side.)
It seems poetic and intentional that MCP named their debut EP Growing Pains. It opens with a brief history lesson on the origins of Kmart and pushes through a Supermarket Sweep lightning round, where clever inspiration seems to be the sincerest form of establishing their sound. This time around, the formula is better preserved and proprietary, with muscly vocals and tighter production leading the way. Michael Cera Palin is a band that could’ve been paralyzed by their own thought process, but the growth can be seen from their house, and probably other places, too.
I Don’t Know How to Explain It will be released tomorrow via Chatterbot Records. CDs and cassettes are available for pre-order here and will ship on or around Feb. 10, the day the band celebrates the EP’s release with an Atlanta release show.