Noise 101 – CD Reviews for Sept. 20
Saved by Vinyl
Very often, an artist’s style and direction can be affected by their personal living situation. With Klarka Weinwurm, it is very apparent that her move to Nova Scotia had an impact on her latest album, Continental Drag. Having already established a modest recording career in Toronto, Weinwurm moved father east to get in touch with the “driving melodies and creaking choruses” she describes within her music.
Attempting to create an album reminiscent of Nova Scotia, Continental Drag seems to want to be an album you should lose yourself in. Unfortunately, it comes off more as an actual Nova Scotian and just seems lost itself. While the album is loaded with tons of great ideas, they do not translate well. Perhaps with a bit more time, Weinwurm can encapsulate the sound she seems to be capable of. Until then, Continental Drag should hopefully just stand out as a speed bump rather than indicate the road she’s on.
— Graham Duncan
The Power Within
Electric Generation Recordings
Since their 2003 hit album Valley of the Damned, Dragonforce has been on a slow descent towards mediocrity. That all changes with this year’s release, which saw lead singer ZP Theart replaced with the talented, untested Marc Hudson. Also gone is Dragonforce’s constant stream of identical sounding seven-minute streams of kitschy lyrics and pounding guitars. Don’t worry, Herman Li and Sam Totman are still shredding away, but no longer is the focus entirely on trying to make jaws drop. There is real talent in the band and in this album it really shines through. Songs like Last Man Stands and Seasons highlight the new Dragonforce, and Hudson’s darker voice makes one forget this is the band that wrote Through the Fire and the Flame. Wings of Liberty and Give me the Night harken back to the Dragonforce of old but everything, from the vocals to Li’s blazing solos, are just that much more polished. If you’re a metal fan, you owe it to yourself to check out Dragonforce 2.0, and The Power Within.
— BAJ Visser
The Roads of Life
Crown-Vetch Music 2012
In honour of hockey being over, it’s time to review the writer of the most famous hockey-related song of all time.
Canada’s own Stompin’ Tom returns with this ode to Canadian folk culture and a time of music long past in country music.
The Roads of Life is classic folk album that features the melodic sounds of yodeling and the harmonica. It reminds you of time when music only existed on the front porch after a long day of whittling and snuff tobacco.
“Mayflower love” is a highlight of the album and features the story of a Nova Scotian looking for work in Fort McMurray. The verse “there to work in those oily sands to put money in my hand. Then back to where the Mayflowers grow” carries a charm that few outside of rural Alberta can understand.
If folk music is your thing as it should be then picking up this will be the best thing you’ve done other then hearing “The Hockey Song” at your next NHL game
— Todd Colin Vaughan