Music » Critics' Picks


6:30 p.m. Monday, February 12. Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois).


Cartel — which formed just three years ago in Atlanta — spent the first two-thirds of its career supporting an EP (2004's The Ransom) and album (2005's Chroma) that no one who wasn't versed in contemporary pop-punk's nuances could've told you existed in the first place. Add drive, good timing and a successful single (the infectious, Zeitgeist-mirroring emo-rock hit "Honestly"), however, and it was graduation day for the quintet: Epic Records repackaged and re-released Chroma last year, seizing the opportunity to showcase Cartel's pitch-perfect, Jimmy Eat World-esque pop potential before a wider audience. The jury's still out on whether the band has the inherent longevity (or the follow-up single) to rank alongside its recent tourmate, New Found Glory; but whatever the band's status is when the Great Emo Revolution of the '00s fires its last shot, it won't have been lacking support.