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.