REVIEW BY JOEL INGLIS
I’m going to start here by saying this is a great album. It is well paced and should be listened through. It should have a big damn sticker on the cover of the album that says ‘DO NOT SHUFFLE’. There are a lot of albums and a lot of live performance set lists that get prepared in a hap hazard manner. This is not one of them.
I had to look up whether or not this was a concept album of some sort. On my first listen, about four songs deep, I thought “ohhhhhh, this is a rock opera.” Because the album has such beautiful flow that is strikingly thematic, I jumped to the conclusion that I was listening to a single epic story unfold. I’m still not convinced that it isn’t. But I’m no longer, after a few listens, imagining how exactly the Halifax-based three-piece band would stage this as a piece of beautiful theatre.
From my minimal research, I read that the band recorded this album over a period of four days. This is somehow both impressive and obvious. Impressive, in that they somehow managed to get such a beautiful and complex album recorded in just four days. Obvious, in that there’s no way a band could maintain such a consistent sound with an album unless it was recorded in a short period of time with minimal outside influence. Clearly they were locked in a beautiful cabin (or something) for a long weekend (I assume) and focused on nothing but getting these tracks recorded.
The album starts with a high energy rock song with a hard-hitting metronome-esque snare-heavy drum track. The first track (Nosebleed) for some reason reminds me of “Lisa Brown” by The Rankins and the second track (Friday Night Mights) for some reason reminds me of “I Fought The Law” by The Clash. I’m not sure if this is just my mind playing a weird trick on me or if there’s some sort of similarity there with these songs. Either way, the songs on this album manage to have a consistent sound while at the same time reminding me of The Rankins, The Clash, July Talk, and The Protomen.
My Favourite Track on the Album: “Penny”
This hard-driving track is highlighted by the incredibly fast-paced vocals and the aggressive rhythm section.
My Least Favourite Track on the Album: “North Star”
This track is a slow burn on an album with a lot of energy. It does a good job of balancing the flavours of the album and in the context of the album being a rock opera, this track brings a moment of reprieve after the intensity of the climactic “An Inelegant Fade.” Taking the track on its own, though, it’s one that will likely not get many spins on my own phone/computer.
Song I Will Keep in Mind for a Movie Soundtrack: “Thaw”
Crescendo-ing from from a quiet, unassuming, waltzing, four-chord stroll into a powerful declaration of adoration in the form of a rock power ballad, this track would fit so easily into a film I am never going to make. In the film, this song plays while the leading couple rekindles their love through relative adversity or something. The apex of the song features a really cool but quiet violin piece.