Tuesday, March 15, 2011



Geez, it's been almost twenty years since Sloan got going, and spearheaded what became known as the Halifax Pop Explosion. While the semi-Fab Four ready a new disc for this spring, the whole Haligonian hubbub continues unchecked, even though Jay, Chris, Andrew and Patrick blew that pop stand for Toronto back in the '90's. The group's legacy has been a constant flow of power pop, as the boys and girls following in their wake have been inspired by the beauty of the three minute miracle. Without Sloan, we wouldn't have had Thrush Hermit, Plaskett, The Guthries, Matt Mays, Jenn Grant, Wintersleep, I could go on for about 15 paragraphs here. Suffice to say, us Maritimers have been enjoying a lot of beautiful pop for two decades.

Jay Smith is just one of the latest, and he's a hot man in the HMA these days. Ex-Rock Ranger, Kato to May's Green Hornet in El Torpedo, he's even written hits with Gordie Sampson. One of those invaluable sidemen, for the past months he's been slowly moving out on his own, playing lots of gigs and getting his tunes out. Although this self-titled set of ten tracks has been available on-line for a bit, it's now disc-shaped, and ready for consumption as word gets out.

I'm loving this set of guitar-driven heartbreak. Smith's a classic rocker, with electric and acoustic guitars layered up, pretty chords and changes lined up on each tracks, a great band groove, and everything sounding fresh and bright. All the tracks are built from the ground up, with harmonies and guitar lines fattening up the cheery, feel-great melodies. They are never sappy, 'cause the guitars rock, the drummer rolls, and the energy could make a pasty, overweight music reviewer dance (blush). Nominal single Romantic Fool sets the template, with our man admitting his heart-breaking ways, which in the end only hurt himself, over a wash of ringing chords. Have a listen pop-rock fans, you will happily add Smith to your Halifax favourites playlist.


The Paragon, Halifax NS   Wednesday, March 16th

The Mason Jar, Sussex NB  Friday, March 18th

Hunter's Ale House ,Charlottetown PEI  Saturday, March 19th

No comments:

Post a Comment