Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Reviews:: Jetplanes of Abraham

I would say that Canadian indie-pop has a defined sound: strings, handclaps, shouted backing vocals, perfectly placed crescendos and tempo changes, and more instruments than you can shake a stick at. While this is becoming the identity of the Canadian sound, it's easy to separate the people who do it well, and those who are simply trying to cash in on the success of bands like Arcade Fire.

Jetplanes of Abraham definitely pull off this sound without falling into the sound-alike realm. This is probably because the sextet is made up of music vets and the group was started as a fun side project. The self-titled album starts with a perfect pop song (Four-part Harmony). The choral backing oohs and ahs and driving drums compliment Rick Devereaux's lead vocals and the band slowly adds keys and handclaps and increases the pace, forming a swirling mix of sounds.

The crunchy guitar intro of Shoelaces breaks down into a more melodic, even pace and the strings start to dominate the track. The band changes tempo effortlessly throughout the song so the melody is never lost, and the changes never feel rushed. These seemless transitions help this record seem like a focused entity, whether its the use of instrumental interludes or delicate song to song changes (like the string outro of Shoelaces into the string and finger picked intro of Take the Cash.

The group rotates vocalists and styles throughout the record. Tunnels/Terminals is a straight ahead power pop ditty (complete with handclaps and catchy keys), and it sharply contrasts numbers like Take the Cash and Complications that explore sounds, textures and tempos. Some pessimists might say that the band is trying to find their sound, but I prefer to think they aren't limiting themselves to one.

The strength of this record is the brevity. Instead of forcing ten songs on the CD, the band delivers seven unique (the bouncy bass on the anthemic Not Tonight for example)and surprisingly centered tracks. It's an incredibly intricate debut and Jetplanes of Abraham are positioning themselves to become one of Canadian music's next big thing.

MP3:: Shoelaces
web page :: myspace :: more tracks

Posted at 12:36 PM by ack :: 2 comments

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At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

"Some pessimists might say that the band is trying to find their sound"

...or, alternatively, that they're trying their best to rip off other, better bands...


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

So, anonymous, are (were) you just going around the internet trying to find reasons to bash this band? Seriously, Ive been to 3 different sites all with identical bashing comments. Very sad. The point is the band is amazing. Im a little late to this boat.


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