Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Texting Mackenzie - Quoi De Neuf

In the late 90's, Halifax was over run with musical talent. Unbelievably, especially if you consider today's market, bands were turning down record contracts to avoid being labeled as sell-outs and to focus on the music and forming a sound. Over time that "sound" slowly filtered into our DNA like a love of donairs, constantly discussing the weather and stopping for pedestrians. Heavy riffs, minor chords, and the classic loud-quiet-loud progressions that cranked up the energy to a fever pitch rang from almost every bar in Halifax. Sigh.

So when Texting Mackenzie jump start their Quoi de Neuf EP with the prototypical Hali sounding The Annex, you can't help but fall in love the ear pleasing melodies. But rather than praise the band for sounding like the countless acts that picked clean a once fruitful orchard so many years ago (no matter how great the results sound, because trust me, The Annex is le jam), it's the remaining songs that showcase the creativity and future of the band.

Freckle Face uses a driving acoustic riff and some piano to showoff the band's ability to deliver a more standard pop sound, but TM still puts their stamp on the song when they spend the last minute adding the needed muscle and chaos to the well timed climax. Ozma Redux is a loud/quiet/loud anthem that shows the band willing to let the catchy hook do the work and showcase Robin Jools Wright's sci-fi heavy lyrics. For that three-minutes, it's impossible to sit still, especially when the band hits full stride which makes the shift to the classic, folk/pop Keen Speciman even more jarring. The nice duet with O'Darling's Ida Maldstone is well put together - the two vocalists mesh well and the mandolin really adds to the authenticity of the emotion - and on its own it would sound impressive, but I have to admit the abrupt change of pace derails the momentum of the EP.

Thankfully, the band finishes the 6-song effort strongly. The infectious bass line and group vocals on Municipal Pride get you moving again, and leads you happily into the most surprising and rewarding effort on Quoi de Neuf. RSVP dips into an almost soulful indie pop, where Wright's vocals stretch to their limit in a Ted Leo-like fashion and the band does what so few ever succeed at; putting their best foot forward to finish the race.

MP3:: Texting Mackenzie - RSVP

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Posted at 7:36 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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