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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Breaking My Heart

Review of Chains Of Love’s Strange Grey Days

Photo via Dine AloneDine AloneImpressing with a live show is one thing, but eliciting a similar positive response with a record, away from the energy the crowd and the volume of the PA, can be a good deal tougher. Vancouver’s Chains Of Love nailed the former and then some at NXNE last year, but despite one of the most impressive things about the show being that they obviously had good songs to go along with their crackling Motown-friendly, garage-soul sound and onstage charisma, I didn’t immediately assume that their debut album – whenever it arrived – would necessarily deliver the same punch.

Happily, said debut – Strange Grey Days, due out next Tuesday – doesn’t disappoint. At seven tracks and 20 minutes, it’s a bit slight – okay, a lot slight although the CD version appends both sides of last year’s “In Between”/”Breaking My Heart” single – but its an enjoyable ride. The fuzzy, faded sonic aesthetic feels authentic but thankfully doesn’t obscure the polished musicality of the band or bury Nathalia Pizarro and Rebecca Marie Law Gray’s sweet vocals. The record is decidedly front-loaded with the uptempo numbers are unquestionably the strongest numbers, but the momentum of those earlier tunes is more than enough to keep things moving and put the whole thing in the “win” column. When – not if – the outfit manages to really stick the slower numbers, they are going to be a force.

The album is currently available to stream in whole courtesy of Exclaim, and they’ve no shortage of local dates coming up – two showcases for Canadian Musicfest at The El Mocambo on March 23 at 11:30PM and March 24 at The Horseshoe at 9:20PM, and then they’re back on April 14 in a supporting role for Said The Whale at The Great Hall.

MP3: Chains Of Love – “In Between”
MP3: Chains Of Love – “Breaking My Heart”
Stream: Chains Of Love / Strange Grey Days

Speaking of Canadian Musicfest, Montreal’s Adam & The Amethysts have three shows during the fest: 8PM on March 22 at The El Mocambo, the afternoon of March 23 at Saving Gigi and 11PM on March 24 at The Drake Underground. They’ve released a new video from this year’s Flickering Flashlight to get y’all excited.

Video: Adam & The Amethysts – “Prophecy”

Rich Aucoin has only got the one March 24 appearance at The Indie Awards on the calendar for Canadian Musicfest, but he’s also released a new video from We’re All Dying To Live, this one all fancy and animated and such.

Video: Rich Aucoin – “P.U.S.H.”

We’ve been waiting so long for the debut full-length from Guelph disco-pop band The Magic – since NXNE 2009 for me, at least – but it’ll finally be here in June and based on the first sample track, it’s been worth the wait.

MP3: The Magic – “Door To Door”

One of Arcade Fire’s contributions to the Hunger Games soundtrack is now available to stream over at Entertainment Weekly. It’s out March 20.

Stream: Arcade Fire – “Abraham’s Daughter”

Kill Screen talks video games with Damian Abraham of Fucked Up.

Pitchfork reports that one of the many Record Store Day goodies coming on April 18 will be the very first vinyl pressing of Destroyer’s 2006 album Destroyer’s Rubies. Destroyer plays The Opera House on June 23.

The AV Club, hour.ca, here, and Beatroute talk to The Wooden Sky.

Islands are interviewed by Torontoist, The Province, Calgary Herald, Beatroute, and Chart and play a video session for Exclaim.

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: General

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