What's It Worth?
! ! ! ! ! Gotta Have This One ! ! ! ! Great Stuff - a Must Hear
! ! ! Pretty Good - Solid Stuff ! ! If You Feel Like Trekking to the Record Store
! Only If You Are A Die Hard
Meligrove Band - Stars and Guitars (Ductape) - ! ! ! !
The wait is over. After some bouts with recording problems, indie rockers The Meligrove Band has finally put out their first full-length CD - and it's worth the wait too. It has the blend of rock/pop/funk that we've come to expect from the Meligroves. The 14-track album contains songs from the cassette EP and loads of new material. But if you're a fan, then it's not new to you, since most of the songs have been played live. The record does spice things up with a few surprises though. Some more background vocals round out the harmonies and the harmonica by Local Rabbits' Peter Elkas livens up the surf-style "Shake Your Pants". The Meligroves have made a record full of music that seems to fuse the music of the last fifty years. Listening to songs like "Over Again" and "Fifty In Your Pocket", which are are reminiscent of 50s-style rock and roll, just make you want to dig out the poodle skirt and do the jive! "All the Moves" is 70s disco while "Write You In" brings you back to the early 90s. The record is a solid compilation that truly represents the Meligroves - good 'ole rock and roll!
- Just Land Already (Independent) - ! ! !
After hitting play, a throbbing drum beat immediately blares
out the speakers. The beat gets faster before being joined by distorted
guitars and synthesizers. Itís quite a rush to hear all that
instrumentation come together so effectively Ė and itís only the first
track. Appropriately titled Pulse Racing, this opening song sets
the standard for the rest of the album, which comes off indeed, like a
racing pulse. Indie industrial group Delica (formerly known as The Deal)
use their signature style of heavy drum loops and keyboard effects to give
their fourth full-length album a hauntingly blissful appeal. Tracks
like Dancing in Oblivion and Gunther stand out with their
complex programming and dark lyrics. On Some Horizon, vocalist Herm
reduces his voice to a sultry whisper, which, combined with the background
vocals, give the song a lingering, enigmatic
overtone. But whatís
impressive is Delicaís ability to vary their sound by balancing the
aggressive tunes with some temperate ones. The tempo slows and the mood
lightens up with the ballad-like Fallen while Push features
delicate but beautiful piano rifts. These tracks round the album out
nicely to make Just Land Already a record of strong musicianship
and creativity. Though some
might not like the overuse of electronics, Delica offers a nice
alternative to the pop formula with a blend of music thatís heavy on the
metaphoric, not on the sap.
Arden - Blood Red Cherry (Universal) - ! ! !
Jann, oh Jann - how I've missed her last year. How I missed her
enjoyable pop music, her humourous personality and the angst-ridden lyrics that could rival even those of Alanis Morrisette. Good thing
they're all back in Blood Red Cherry, Arden's fourth album. With critics calling Happy a little melo-dramatic, Arden has lightened
up a bit this time around. Turning up the groove level with heavy beats and catchy drum loops, Blood Red Cherry comes out to be a bubbly pop
Artists - Indiebasement 2000 (Indiebasement) - ! !
The recordís catch line reads ďessential music for the new millennium.Ē Heaven save music if this record is supposed to represent the best of indie rock because, unfortunately, Indiebasemet 2000 is nothing but a compilation of bland songs. Featuring mostly Windsor-based bands the album doesnít offer any new or versatile styles. Itís mainly the traditional rock fare thatís been heard before. Repetitive guitar rifts, shouting choruses and hoarse, undecipherable vocals make appearances in a majority of the songs, most notably in Lunacyís Wolfskin and in Johnny El Caminoís Nick Fast. Then thereís the clichť angst-ridden lyricism that was so popular of the last decade. Most of us have probably already heard the being-single-spiel of Eladís Guitar Armyís If I Was Single and the how-love-sucks-speech in Mercedesí You Donít Know What Itís Like. Amidst this all comes the experimental, which could have been quite inventive if they didnít drone on the monotonous. Tribute from Peace & Love Inc. sounds promising at its start with excerpts of Martin Luther King Jr.ís I Have A Dream speech. But the beat keeps its psuedo-electronic buzz throughout the entire piece and the lyrics just go from weird to nonsense. The Ausable Channel offers six and half minutes of pure guitar fuzz in Bird and Bear and Hare and Fish and BoogieManís Kosmic Slop canít decide whether it wants to be a bad version of the B52s or a worse version of Neil Young.
good jacket presents...Vancounver Special (Mint Records) - ! ! !
Hereís a record that comes full
circle. It starts off good, gets dry towards the middle and then picks
itself up again near the end. With an eclectic mix of ďVancouverís
brightest contemporary underground musiciansĒ (as quoted in the liner
notes), Vancouver Special mixes some light-hearted pop with jazzy
instrumental tracks and some 70s-style
off with the Three Goblinsí bubbly The Good Jacket Theme, itís
happy, arm-swishing, hand-jiving tracks most of the way with standouts
like So Fine from the Pepper Sounds and The Secret Threeís Experience
in Fright. But once its
past song 11 on this 24-track album, things start sounding a little bit
the same. Itís the same samba beat you canít shake off, or the
recurring rock-riffage thatís like the one before it. That is, until you
reach Thea Boweringís Kitchen Familiarities. This short
spoken-word track is refreshing to hear Ė humourous too as Bowering
recounts her experience of being in another personís kitchen. It all
wraps up nicely with Pipedreamís hypnotic Selection Drone.
*Edited versions, full reviews in the print version.
Return to Main Page