Thursday, March 8, 2018


Hey, it's release day for the debut album from the Moncton band, Tampa, called Belated Love. New band, old friends actually. This is three members of the group Danger Cat, now transformed with a new sound into Tampa, and adding a real ringer in Katrine Noël from the much-loved Les Hay Babies, newly deputized as the group's bass player. Speaking of ringers, Tampa made a smart move drafting in producer Joe Grass, sonic adventurer, N.B.'er by birth, and guitarist to the stars (Patrick Watson, etc.) in Montreal.

The phrase has become so frustratingly overused that it's now meaningless, but I'd call this real alternative rock music. It has all the recognizable traits of your basic rock song, but messes with them all with bright, new ideas. The verse-chorus-verse structure gets tossed, even the basic sounds of the instruments get manipulated. For every little retro moment, there's something to counter it on the adventurous and new side. If Richard Lloyd and Television came along now, I think this would be the kind of record they'd make. It's catchy as all get out, funky and danceable, and just crammed full of great ideas.

It's fascinating listening to all the individual guitar parts, sharp chords or stinging little riffs, pretty lines that run in and out with the melodies. There will be three, four or more of these in each song, along with different vocal styles, from single leads from Nic LeBlanc, to double-tracked ones to harmonies and blankets of effects. There's nothing better than adventurous music meeting adventurous production. There's an album release show today (Mar. 09) at the Capital Complex in Fredericton, and the big launch party is Saturday at Salle Bernard-LeBlanc in Moncton.

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