Noise 101: CD Reviews from Mar. 20
Regards, Calgary indie crooners Hunger Hush’s first record, is a nine-song album of longing that plays itself out like a 90s teen movie. With lyrics like “If everyone had a tremble in their bones / We’d all end up alone like I do / We’d all die out like cautious dinosaurs / no one fails to score like I do” will have you singing along and celebrating your inner awkwardness. While the more beautiful moments on this record are in the bands instrumentation, vocalists Steve Wirzba and Alastair Pollock’s lyrics are also impeccably smart and eloquently delivered. There are times, however, that you wish more chances were taken with the vocals in exploring intensity and harmonies. Still, Regards is a polished indie pop album that challenges listeners to experience the record like a tourist in an art gallery. Stand out songs include “Novels,” “Cautious Dinosaurs” and “Nectarine,” with the lead guitar and piano mixing explosively through each track.
– Dave Drebit
Sweet Rock and Roll
British Columbia adds to its home-grown musical talent with the release of Sweet Rock and Roll by The Rockies. The ten-track rock ‘n’ roll album will have you singing along to the well-scripted lyrics and silky chords of Dan Harden, Dean Irving and Rod Anderson. The three-man band bestows listeners with their gruff, yet sleek, vocals — which are backed up by talented, well thought out instrumentals. “Hotel Beds” is an example of the band’s ability to catch the listener’s attention and hold it with the story of a man and women meeting at a bar and going to the wrong side of town to enjoy the night together. “Your Sweet Rock and Roll” adds to the album’s already well-conceived tracks with its addicting and euphonious lyrics. Partnered with the other nine tracks, Sweet Rock and Roll is an album you’ll want to get your hands on.
– Hannah Cawsey
File Under Music
Back after a few years of silence with Animals, Bend Sinister isn’t here to fuck around. A very ambitious opening track, “Best of You,” clocks in at over eight minutes, and it takes a lot of confidence to open an album with what could be touted as the band’s new anthem. From there on, Bend Sinister follows a few simple rules to producing a solid record: the band said they were going to say yes to more options with Animals, which is clear in their sound. They also allow the instruments to grow into their parts, and show off their rock ‘n’ roll musicianship. Secondly, they keep the tempo fast, trying to avoid any songs with could drain the energy. “Fancy Pants” and “You Remind Me” are songs that deliver, with Bend Sinister proving they are Vancouver’s equivalent of The Dudes — rocking, ambitious and here to party hard.
– Nathan Ross