Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reviews:: The Superfantastics - Choose Your Destination

I admire hustle. If you've seen me play hoops, this won't come as a surprise to you (the Ack, on the other hand, admires economy of movement, as his more stationary style can attest). But hustle is not only found on the court, as often you'll find some of the best/most successful bands are the hardest working. The hard workers in this case happen to be Halifax two-piece The Superfantastics, who are back on the scene with a new EP Choose Your Destination.

I'm not the only one who's noticed the SF's effort, this is what Rob from A Quiet Revolution had to say about the duo while giving them an honourable mention nod in his inaugural edition of The Quiet Revolutionaries:

Honorable mention: Video blogging their tours, recording and firing off videos left and right budgets be damned – they released some vinyl, set up their own free download system to pair with vinyl sales and received some industry recognition along the way. They, of course, are the Superfantastics

Impressive indeed, and that doesn't even take into account their work outside the band - guitarist Matt MacDonald is also a member of The Sleepless Nights, while drummer Stephanie d'Entremont is co-founder of Halifax indie label Delorean Recordings.

Despite all that activity, it's clear they found time to work on their game since releasing their debut full-length Pop-Up Book last year. Or it could just be a natural result of all the touring they did for that album, but either way it has paid off in a tighter sound. Stephanie's drum work is more complex and assured, while her vocal contributions seem to have more conviction behind them. The songs also show a bit of a more mature outlook. Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of fun to be found, but it seems that they've turned the cuteness down a couple notches in favour of a more robust sound.

The pounding drums and big guitar sound of Turn On Me provide the backdrop for an addictive album opener that'll have you singing along by the second chorus. The alternating boy-girl vocals on the hook are perfectly timed, this one just has a classic Halifax sound to it (whatever that actually means). Lullaby Punches and its tales of Nancy Drew, Eric Wilson, and relationship mysteries is a standout for me. The combination of off-kilter, surf-rock sounding drums, strummed acoustic and finger picked electric guitar is a different sound for the twosome, I like it.

We were lucky enough to be able to include Rites of Spring on our recent Nova Scotia (ahem...Halifax) mix tape, but if you have yet to hear this mix of slinky snyths, bouncy drums, horns, and cowbell(!), I suggest you check it out below. It makes me look forward to spring, which is a minor miracle considering that particular season tends to be a slush filled depression fest here in Halifax. The Astronomer is heavier, and more of a straight-ahead rocker than the SF's have done in the past, but Matt does a great job with the chorus, especially near the end of the song.

If you aren't familiar with The Superfantastics, Choose Your Destination provides you with an excellent oppertunity to do so when it drops on February 26th. If you are already a fan, like both of your friends here at the hill are, you'll find plenty to like on this EP, as it's great stuff. The SF's have quite an extensive tour on the horizon, so check for them in your town if you're in the Eastern portion of our fine country.

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MP3:: The Superfantastics - Turn On Me
MP3:: The Superfantastics - Rites Of Spring

Feb.22 Charlottetown, PE Baba's
Feb.22 Charlottetown, PE Haviland Club (all ages)
Feb.23 Halifax, NS Gus Pub
Feb.26 Fredericton, NB Reneu Boutique (all ages)
Feb.27 Quebec City, PQ Tam Tam cafe
Feb.29 Wakefield, PQ Black Sheep Inn
Mar. 01 Peterborough, ON Underdog
Mar. 02 Hamilton, ON Casbah Lounge
Mar. 03 Guelph, ON Salsateria
Mar. 05 London, ON Alex P. Keaton
Mar. 06 Toronto, ON Cameron House (CMW)
Mar. 07 Brantford, ON Ford Plant (all ages)
Mar. 08 Oshawa, ON The Velvet Elvis
Mar. 09 Montreal, PQ Casa Del Popolo
Mar. 14 Sackville, NB George's Roadhouse
Mar. 15 Fredericton, NB The Capital

Posted at 9:18 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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