Sunday, April 8, 2012


Wowsers, what is all this stuff?  This album has every 70's trick in the book, and three different styles of kitchen sinks.  It starts off sounding like a mess of other groups these days, doing 70's rock on Are You Gonna Waste My Time?, which could have been a Sheepdogs track for all I knew, with it's Townsend-meets-Joe Walsh boogie, but then kaboom, everything gets thrown up in the air for the rest of the disc.

For this second album, the group has now coalesced into a solid four-piece unit, rather than the several collaborators who made up the first disc, Say Us.  Boasting three like-minded composers throwing ideas around, plus the usual Artsy-Craftsy pals such as Jason Collett and Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), you can see why the ideas keep coming.  Well, keep 'em coming, kids, it is a bunch of fun.  But amidst all the pomp and splendor and harmonies and hooks and cliches, there's one obvious influence, and that's Queen.  Almost every song has something straight out of the Mercury and May circus.  And not that's there's anything wrong with that, I just can't figure out why that never makes it in the write-ups.  Lord knows they get compared to every other 70's group, plus all the recent retro bands, too.

I guess that's part of the fun, you get to play spot-the-reference if you're a music nerd (guilty, I suppose) or if you don't give a shit (which is smarter), you can enjoys all these time-honoured tricks all mashed up into a new stew.  Ahh, falsettos mirroring string parts, many-multitracked voices, crazy toyshop breakdown in the middle of a song, pop-opera, and it just keeps coming and coming.  I love it all, and there's no point in dissecting each song, it would just turn into a "this is like this" review.  It's better to say a great amount of work, cleverness and inspiration went into it, and the results are a blast.

One final note though.  The cut Hello, Tender Love is the best Wings song I've ever heard.

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