Sunday, April 23rd, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 30
|The Coast / The Coast (independent)
Just to get it out of the way, yes Toronto’s Coast sound like New Order. Or at least, they do at first but if you started making a list, you’d find more dissimilar points than similar. They actually sound more like the guy who’d go to the Hacienda every night but rather than get his face off on the dance floor, sat in the corner intensely writing poetry. Shimmering and melancholy, there’s a depth and yearning in the music that it never would have occurred to Bernard Sumner to examine. I’m a little distressed to find that I used all my best review lingo when I saw them live way back in December… So have a look at that and let me say that their EP more than delivers on the promise I saw in the live performance. Sometimes I complain about how slavishly anglophile Toronto can be, but every once in a while it pays off in spades. Their next gig is at the Drake Underground on May 20.
|Casiotone For The Painfully Alone / Ettiquite (Tomlab)
Sometimes it’s helpful when the band’s name tells you all you really need to know. Though boasting a broader sonic palette than his previous works, Chicago’s Owen Ashworth, AKA he who is painfully alone, still rocks the cheap Casio-esque keyboards and drum machines and sound like they were recorded in a dark suburban bedroom, perhaps under the covers. The most obvious reference point would be The Magnetic Fields, at least the earlier works. But while still possessing a sense of humour, CFTPA is less droll and obviously spent far more time listening to old Sebadoh records than schooling himself in Tin Pan Alley, but are also more obviously heartfelt and less cloaked in irony.
Chicago’s Walking Bicycles prove there might still be some life in the whole post-punk/new wave thing after all. They stuttering and jagged and raw, but with a deeply-ingrained melodicism that sets them apart from their similarly-influenced peers. It also helps that singer Jocelyn Summers doesn’t sing in a Factory-issue Ian Curtis monotone but instead has a nicely expressive rasp that’s capable of conveying an emotional range something beyond the usual tension and anxiety. Note to everyone who still wants to squeeze some blood from this stylistic stone – get a girl to sing. Opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Their debut album Disconnected was released earlier this month.
np – Mates Of State / Bring It Back