Led by vocalists and guitarists Michael Santana and Adam Schubert, Cafe Racer's "Shadow Talk" captures the unpredictable thrill of its energetic live show without sacrificing thoughtful songwriting and purposeful composition. Improvisational guitar explorations and textural compositions from Santana, Schubert and fellow guitarist Andrew Harper fit gear-like with the steady-handed rhythm section of bassist Rob McWilliams and drummer Elise Poirier. The band is ever charging forward, building hypnotic momentum through slyly mutating repetition and dense complexity. You can imagine Cafe Racers’ guitar reverberations escaping its practice space, bouncing off the monolithic brick ComEd building on Western Avenue a couple miles away, rattling through the alleys and gangways, shaking gutters loose from two-flats, stirring eddies of sound down the sidewalks.
"Still, the best part of Shadow Talk is its gestalt: The individual pieces are all a notch stronger, but their sum is a ton stronger. Credit not only Cafe Racer’s conviction to rewire their love of fuzz with new energy, but also the album’s phenomenal sequencing. Subtle but firm, Shadow Talk’s motion mirrors time and weather: the first three tracks sound like a lucid morning becoming a focused afternoon, then gliding into a depressurized evening. Midway through the 10-minute closing track, a sustaining organ slips in unannounced, the whistling breeze that gently informs you that you have about four minutes before it turns into a droning downpour." Steven Arroyo, Pitchfork
Cafe Racer is Michael Santana, Adam Schubert, Rob McWilliams, Andrew Harper, and Elise Poirier.