An ambitious and versatile group out of Ottawa, The Bushpilots have a healthy respect for swaggering guitar rock, one part roots, and the rest from Sticky Fingers. That just screams vinyl to me, and this comes in a classic sleeve that looks like it's been sitting in my stacks since university. That's 1978, for those counting (and the rest of you smirking).
Although just six songs long, each side runs about 17 minutes, so I hesitate to call it an EP. All the tracks are rich band workouts, with lots of solid groove workouts filling up the cuts. You Don't Believe Me kicks things off with an electric edge, but they can do the heartache ballad too. Pollyanna lives on its rich piano, but gets driven along by hard-hitting drums and sad vocal from Rob Bennett. The song builds by adding new parts, including a great, ragged backing vocal section, excellent classic horn parts, and finally a coup de grâce guitar solo from Glen Russell.
Don't call it retro, call it rock, it's how it's supposed to be made, and how it still sounds best. Check them out if you are in the Ottawa area on Saturday, Dec. 12. The band will be officially launching the vinyl version (yes, you can get a CD or download too) at The Record Centre. Gee, just what record stores used to be like.