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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reviews:: The Violet Archers Sunshine at Night

A lot of the things I said about Matthew Barber's record hold true for the latest effort by The Violet Archers. I'm not trying to say they sound the same, because sonically they aren't even close, but both understand how important the little things are when it comes to making a song complete. With Barber, it's a result of a methodical approach to song writing, but for Tim Vesely and the rest of The Violet Archers it seems to be more the benefits of experience.

If you look at Insecure, you get an idea of the confidence and experience the band has and how it helps their song writing. If you asked a bunch of teenagers to hop in a car and drive six hours, they'd speed along, trying to get there as fast as possible, leaving lulls and disappointment. They'd get bored and looks for ways to have fun. For bands, that translates into adding unnecessary layers, huge out of place solos and a tendency to race through a melody.

The Violet Archers are able to treat the drive as an adventure, taking the time to see the sights and just enjoy what creeps over the horizon. On the surface, the track should be able to break the 5-minute mark, but the band shows patience and understanding by adding snippets of horns, dueling vocals and guitar work at just the right times; no element stays too long or takes away from the keep time drums and acoustic riff, but each part has something to say that is worth hearing. Taken on it's own, no element would command attention, but the arrangement builds nicely and really rewards the listener.

That's not to say this record comes off like a drive with your parents. The Violet Archers sequenced the album beautifully. The 90's minor tones (and vocab - as they chorus drops "lame") and crunch of Tired fuels the middle section of the record and really takes you back to a time when Indie rock was not a generic moniker slapped on music. The hook breaks down into some sonic, chaotic wash and really gets you excited for the next track (the single and most enjoyable track on the record), Sunshine at Night. The road trip ready rocker Don't Talk infuses another jolt of energy that pushes you through to the end of the record.

For people outside of Canada, Vesely's involvement with The Rheostatics might not be a selling point, but even without the solid musical pedigree of him and the band (all staples in the Canadian scene) there are countless tracks to be embraced. Whether it's the John Roderick like whimsy of Sunshine at Night, the unashamed catchiness of the "bonus track", Another Round or the Nada Surf like vocals on Transporter, the Violet Archers reveal new wrinkles that will appeal to music lovers everywhere.

You get to a point in life where you stop caring what people think and what is cool. Instead of trying to write songs that fit a little niche, The Violet Archers are just writing the songs that work for them and as a result they make a connection. When they sing "this is love" on You and I, you really get the feeling that love is exactly why they keep playing music and why you are listening.

myspace :: web site :: buy the record from Zunior

Posted at 10:39 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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