Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The whole Attack In Black scene has developed into a treasure trove of solo and side projects.  You have Daniel Romano doing his excellent, old-time folk ballads on his own or with Fred Squire and Julie Doiron.  Romano and his brother Ian has started up the You've Changed label, for side projects and friends such as Shotgun Jimmie.  Baby Eagle is part of that, too, a/k/a Steve Lambke of Constantines.  Guitarist Spencer Burton calls his solo guise Grey Kingdom, and bass player Ian Kehoe has now become Marine Dreams.

It's Kehoe with the new disc, and like the others in the family tree, it's different than the sum of the parts of Attack In Black, a heavier rock act.  While it's not as hushed as Daniel's folk music, it's not going to be put in the punk racks.  Since Kehoe was the lyric writer for the group, it's been no problem for him to develop solo material, and he hasn't had to move that far away to find his own voice.  In fact, it's the same old set of friends helping out here, including all three AIB former band mates, Lambke and Paul Henderson, ex-Shotgun and Jaybird, and part of the ongoing Sackville, NB connection the group members have established.  In fact Kehoe and Lambke now call the town on the marsh home.

Ranging from the heavy riffs and downs of Sudden Dark Truths to the jangly strums of Visions, Kehoe's made a cool guitar album.  While there are moments of pleasing pop, it never gets too conventional, with one or more parts, including the vocals, often put through the indie low-fi filter.  Even mid-song, instruments and elements can switch from murky to clear.  I'm sure it's nowhere near this simple these day in the studio, but it's like you can set a switch, and click it on and off at will, low-fi to high-fi.  The sonic palette is pretty full here to, not a lot of space available, most of the space in your head between the earbuds filled up with guitars and drums.

Kehoe's touring Marine Dreams right now, along with buddy Baby Eagle.  They play:

Wednesday, Nov. 9  Cedar Tree Cafe, Fredericton
Friday, Nov. 11 Gus' Pub, Halifax
Saturday, Nov. 12 Struts Gallery, Sackville, NB

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