Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quick Hitters:: Collapsing Opposites

Collapsing Opposites
Without question, the stark contrast Vancouver offers the artists that call the city home helps them form sounds that can't blossom in any other Canadian city. The beauty of mountain filled skies and hint of salt that filters up from the ocean are diametrically opposed to the homelessness (people with two steady incomes can barely afford to own) and substance abuse that city officials keep trying to push further and further from the downtown core, the cuts to the arts program and the harsh reality that venues close all the time.

That's why even when Vancouver's Collapsing Opposites hits on some ear pleasing psych-pop melodies on their new LP (In Time), the results never degrade to hippie love, flowers and drug induced hazes. There are no moments of free love and by no means does the band see the current world through rose coloured glasses. No, Collapsing Opposites uses those psych backdrops get your interest before getting to the heart of some real world issues.

Over the last two years, the ever changing lineup has been solidified and from what I've heard so far, they discarded the friendly guitar picks, plinky synths and saxophone we've come to expect and in their place front man Ryan McCormick delivers tangible streams of consciousness that get darker the deeper you get. Picture BARR playing with a swirling, looping band instead of over a drum machine and you get the idea.

They also seem much more focused. Don't Worry starts as a simple track about ruining a dude's high but McCormick starts probing into real problems (in this case, the downside of the all-inclusive tropical retreat) that people all too often sweep under the rug. Diamond Mind drives forward aggressively, using swirls and a heavy beat before the band changes pace to a more syncopated, up beat sound on the "chorus." Throughout it all, McCormick must be given credit for making a completely inaccessible style - rapid fire lyrics delivered from a completely unique sounding vocalist - and making the songs surprisingly accessible.

How does the rest of In Time play out? To be honest, I have no idea but the improved collaboration between McCormick and his band and a focus that helps keep the tracks from spiraling into chaos has me very excited.

MP3:: Collapsing Opposites - Diamond Mind

MP3:: Collapsing Opposites - Don't Worry

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Posted at 3:05 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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