Monday, April 2, 2018


If you've spent any time in the gritty downtown core of the city, any city, you'll know there's a subculture. Most musicians and lots of the arts community are familiar with that scene, from the very late nights to the shell-shocked mornings, where the reality of sex and drugs and rock and roll is far from the glamourous lifestyle often portrayed. And that goes double in ports, for a variety of reasons. Or so I'm told.

Hynes knows the deep city, the port of St. John's. Yes, he's a close relation to Ron, and yes, it runs in the family. He's already a hugely successful writer, his recent We'll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night winning the Governor General's Award for Fiction. This is his first studio album, after a live collection, and it sounds like he's just as comfortable in this role as he is on the page. As befits his edgy lyrics, there's a punkish, searing feel to the music, lots of rough guitar and his gritty vocals. Hynes' characters are in various points of disarray, from the barfly frustrated at being downtown "going home, all alone, in your tightest pants" (Last Call) to the "cold and callous, mean and cruel" love interest in Bad Boy. And he closes the album with a real Zevon-worthy rocker with a classic observation, Everybody Loves You (When You're Dead).

Usually, people in one artistic discipline who try to move into music end up sounding like they're on holiday. Hynes sounds like he's belonged there all along, and if he wasn't already a tremendous writer, I'd be calling him that for this album alone.


  1. Bob, are you on glue? This “album” is insulting to actual musicians and people with ears. Are you kidding with this review? For your sake I hope this person is holding something over you and you don’t actually believe this album is worth listening. However if you truly enjoyed it, it’s time to retire. CBC should be ashamed.

    1. Clearly you have not actually heard the album.