Sunday, February 1st, 2009
Smothered In Hugs, Paper Moon
|Smothered In Hugs / The Healing Power Of Injury (Collagen Rock)
Though their name – one of the more obvious Guided By Voices cribs out there – certainly gives an idea of what to expect from the debut from this Prince Edward Island quintet, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Yes, there’s a pronounced affection for the oddball, rapid-fire pop aesthetic of Dayton’s finest, but an almost equally large debt is owed to the early works of R.E.M., particularly in their penchant for unpredictable but wholly memorable melodic lines and the bit of Replacements-esque angst can’t be overlooked. Add in production values which eschews gloss for a certain cassette-tape fidelity and you’ve got a record that triggers a nostalgic aural endorphin rush.
|Paper Moon / What Are You Going To Do With Me? (Endearing)
Winnipeggers Paper Moon have been hanging out in the lower tiers of the Canadian indie rock circuit for many years now, releasing a couple albums of sweet and sophisticated pop that’d be equally at home in a fuzzy twee cardigan or a sleek evening gown but never managing to break out in an appreciable manner. But three years and some lineup shuffles on from their last release, they’re back and have released an EP before their new record Only During Thunderstorms arrives in April 2009. And while the recipe hasn’t changed much, there’s a certain confidence and cohesiveness throughout this teaser that seems to herald a band ready to take that next step forward. That’s particularly impressive considering the songs are drawn from a disparate range of sources (one new song, a couple older songs and a couple covers) yet hang together perfectly. Here’s hoping this Paper Moon is finally beginning to wax.