Burbank Cartel
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Burbank Cartel

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Sat Feb 25th Burbank Cartel @ Cactus Club, 10 p.m."

Featuring two former members of Milwaukee’s Alligator Gun, the Burbank Cartel headlines this Saturday at the Cactus Club. The Cartel’s high-energy stage shows are an entertaining backdrop for their post-punk sound, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine or Stereolab. The band’s 2004 release, Everything Takes Forever, showcases their ability to combine powerful vocals with strong melodies. Joining the Cartel will be MirrorAmerica (ex-Seam, A Miniature) from Chicago and Pretendo (ex-Enon, Skeleton Key) from New York. (Kathy Nichols) - Shepherd Express 2/23/06

"Burbank Cartel @ Cactus Club 10pm"

The Burbank Cartel features two members of punk-pop kingpin Alligator Gun. The new group's sound is more expansive and airy than Bill Couture and Craig Johansen's old band, relying more on texture than speed. - The Onion


Everything Takes Forever - EP High Five Records 2005

We are being played on these fine radio stations:

KQAL winona MN 89.5 FM
KMSU 89.7 Mankato MN
3WK internat radio
Art of the mix internet
WMSE 91.7 mil, WI

We are streaming on these fine sites:



Feeling a bit camera shy


Breakups happen. While they can often be traumatic, they are also necessary. In 1998 Milwaukee, WI punk band Alligator Gun had their obligatory breakup. The band had accomplished many feats, survived endless tours and label woes, but had run its course. The break allowed William Couture and Craig Johansen to form the Burbank Adult-Rock Cartel. The name was derived from rock critic Lester Bangs in his screed against bands who grew soft and complacent from success and major label money. The name, however, proved to be a mouthful and was quickly shortened to BURBANK CARTEL. Following a summer remodeling project, a basement was converted to a recording/practice studio. Couture and Johansen then started to experiment with their music and break the boundaries set by their previous band. The mind set was established that no limitations would be placed on the direction of their music. If a song called for melodica or a $20 Casio keyboard to be added, it would be done. Time passed and the brothers Riepenhoff (Joe and John respectively) of Hi-Five Records helped get the first incarnation of the Cartel off the ground and playing shows. After a year, a line-up change took place and Nick Baker (formerly of Kinah) joined. Nick brought friend and fellow guitarist Tim Sabourin into the mix and together they formed the wall of sound needed to make the BURBANK CARTEL complete. With new songs constantly being written, it was time to document what was being created. They enlisted producer/musician Kristian Riley (Citizen King, New Sense) to turn dials at Bionic Studios. The result was an intense, atmospheric pop soundscape, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine colliding with Superchunk and Wilco-esque background noise. Some of the songs maintained simple and basic instrumentation: drums, bass, guitar and vocals. Other songs explored keyboards, drum machines, loops and other random instruments all while keeping a seamless continuity. After finishing recording in the fall of 2004, what seemed to take forever happened. The BURBANK CARTEL had their first official release, the appropriately titled Everything Takes Forever. Everything opens with “Ex-Magician”, a politically subtle song that contrasts a melodic half-whispering vocal with sharp staccato guitar and restrained feedback. The repetitive pounding drums of Johansen drive the song from the beginning to its full tilt Wholike power chord ending. It’s a statement of an opener letting you know to expect anything on the ep. Track 2, “More Call For Atmosphere”, is the true gem of the disc. Tiny electronic beats and repetitive guitar lines hover around Couture’s catchy, lyrically fictional remembrances that come off like a Ray Bradbury short story. Doing what they do best throughout the ep, they build “More Call...” into a sonically spacious landscape with the dual guitars of Baker and Sabourin doing their best Fugazi impersonation. Already gaining a local reputation for amazing live shows, the Cartel has opened for such bands as The Like Young, Duvall, MirrorAmerica, and Hey Mercedes. With heavy touring in their future and an amazing 5 song debut, BURBANK CARTEL leave you with the hope that future releases will not take forever.