Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reviews:: Ketch Harbour Wolves Dead Calm Horizon

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It's easy to imagine the dark, brooding sounds of bands like Interpol and The National being fostered in the the burrows of New York city. The energy that pulses through the city transfers easily into the undercurrents of the songs. The misery, solitude and doubt that hides in the dark corners of NYC are contrasted by the heightened highs of the city that never sleeps, and replicated in song by the seismic, rapid fire percussion and ragged, intensity both bands produce.

But when you look at a band coming from Canada, that static electricity of a metropolis isn't as evident. Even in our biggest city - Toronto (where the KHW now call home) - relies on two subways lines and hours of commuter traffic to survive. The pace of the people slows and unlike being swallowed into an unending crowd, you are often alienated by the vast sprawling emptiness of the city.

So even though there are stylistic similarities with those other terrific bands, given their coastal ties, it's not that surprising that Ketch Harbour Wolves write songs that seem more expansive. Tyrell's sombre vocals are still weary, but it's not from being lost in a sea of people. It's more like being lost at sea, battered by waves and a loneliness and intensity that grows more heightened with every second as you wonder how you can make it out alive.

But somehow, the band makes you feel like you can. The falsetto and cymbal crashes of Gold refuses to let you give up. Sooner or later, you'll sea the horizon and make it home again. The piano that fills out the beautiful tender delivery on Animals pulls you close. Sometimes a band starts to not only speak to you, but speak for you and as more people start listening to KHW, the more fans will start singing along. On first listen, the songs drifted by, but with every listen since, the emotions they deliver on this EP is more and more in tune with mine. Easily one of the best Canadian EPs of the year.

Posted at 1:51 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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