Sunday, January 8th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 19
|The Meligrove Band / Planets Conspire (V2)
Mississauga’s Meligrove Band made their name with 60s-friendly punchy power-pop but on Planets Conspire, their debut for V2, they take draw on the 70s for inspiration, offering up an album with a distinctly psychedelic, prog-rock-ish vibe. With Jason Nunes’ anguished vocals, a surprising amount of piano pounding and general needle-in-red production, the finished product sound like late-period Supergrass produced by the Flaming Lips and fronted by a Ben Folds having a really bad week. They’re still making sugar pop confections, but there’s the distinctly salty aftertaste of tears. It may not be as immediately catchy as their past works, but in the long-term, it’s a far more interesting and rewarding listen. Planets Conspire comes out January 17 and the band is holding a CD release party at the Mod Club January 13. You can stream many tracks from the album on their website.
|Imogen Heap / Speak For Yourself (RCA Victor)
England’s Imogen Heap must love the cinema, if not for the films themselves then for the royalty cheques that they bring in. Her band Frou Frou has had songs in Shrek and Garden State and her solo work has appeared in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and The O.C. It’s not surprising her music would be so popular as soundtrack fodder – it sounds tailor-made to be background music. With Heap’s smooth, elastic voice, tasteful electronic flourishes and and super-slick production, it’s all terribly pleasant sounding and has no burrs or edges whatsoever that might catch the listener/viewer’s ear and distract them from the drama/comedy/credits unfolding onscreen. Heap is in town on January 12 for a completely sold-out show at the El Mocambo and you can stream a couple songs off her website.
|The Spectacular Fantastic / Goes Underground (Ionik Recordings)
The Spectacular Fantastic may hail from the rock’n’roll hotbed Cincinatti, Ohio, but judging from the sweet pop of their new album Goes Underground, their hearts and minds are on the west coast. Goes Undergound is a sweet, laid back slice of retro-pop that combines California sunshine with good old fashioned midwestern folky jangle and a healthy dose of fuzz for good measuer. Good pop music, no fuss, no muss. You can stream the album off their website and they’re offering a complete EP for download – free of charge – here.
np – Catherine Wheel / Chrome