Friday, July 13th, 2012
There All The Time Without You
Review of Kestrels’ A Ghost History
Sonic UnyonWere the magical little elves in charge of categorizing music – be it in record store bins or the meta tags on MP3s – would like to take Halifax trio Kestrels and file them under “shoegaze”, pointing to the heyday of Creation Records in describing their second album A Ghost History. And I’m not necessarily going to argue the point – it definitely owes more than a debt to the sounds of the early ’90s, what with its roaring guitars and liberally reverbed vocals, but those expecting some Maritime take on sonic cathedral construction or hazy dream-pop had best check their expectations.
Kestrels’ record collections may have their shares of of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive records – “There All the Time Without You” is pretty damn Shields-y in a great way – but those records clearly share shelf space with plenty of college rock from this side of the Atlantic. And from those records, they learned valuable lessons – Superchunk taught them how to channel their energy into pogo-ready punk-pop anthems, Dinosaur Jr taught them how to rip a guitar solo like a mofo, and Sloan… well it might be a bit cliche to cite the proto-Halifax rock band, but there’s more than a little Smeared – both in its fuzzy textures and indelible hooks – in Kestrels’ DNA.
For those of us who grew up with these influences will find Ghost History familiar yet invigorating and those who didn’t, who are perhaps of the same generation as Kestrels themselves, well maybe we should consider this a gateway drug.
Radio Free Canuckistan continues to get excited for the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet reunion show at Lee’s Palace on Saturday night by interviewing drummer Don Pyle as well as band patron/friend Bruce McCulloch of Kids In The Hall fame. NOW and The AV Club also have feature pieces and Exclaim also has another video session of the 2012 incarnation of the band playing a tune for St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto.
It was a sad day when Forest City Lovers called it a day back in April, but frontwoman Kat Burns did promise that she’d still have a new record out soon – and indeed she does. Now recording as Kashka and exploring the electro-pop side of things, she’ll release her debut album Vichada on July 17 – stream a track below – and has already begun playing some shows but nothing of the hometown persuasion just yet.
Stream: Kashka – “This Machine”
Video: Purity Ring – “Fineshrine”
Like bikes? Like music? Maybe you’ll like the Toronto Bicycle Music Fest which happens at Trinity Bellwoods on September 15. The music side of things will feature performances from Snowblink, Gentleman Reg, and Rae Spoon and the bicycle side of things… well I guess you’re encouraged to bring your bike? Snowblink will be presumably be playing material from their new album Inner Classics which comes out September 11, Reg will showcase his Leisure Life material which is being released incrementally through the Summer and collected into album form in the Fall and Spoon’s I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets came out at the start of 2012.
The Wilderness Of Manitoba have announced a September 18 release date for their second album, Island Of Echoes. Hear – and see – a new song that doesn’t actually appear on the new record in this video session filmed by Southern Souls.
MP3: METZ – “Headache”
Video: PS I Love You – “Toronto”