Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reviews:: Construction & Destruction Video et Taceo

Over the last few years, I've developed quite a fondness for the Port Greville duo, Construction & Destruction. Colleen and David came out swinging with a very DIY, home recorded LP that was littered with potential. Since that debut, the band has fine tuned their skills – their songwriting has blossomed, especially now that the duo writes songs that mesh both Colleen’s quirky keys and falsetto vocals and David’s penchant for meatier, fuzzed out chords instead of handing the honor back and forth – and started to build a fan base, especially with other artists.

They’ve also been incredible busy. Not only did they play Sappy fest, book a show for Pop Montreal this year, record a split with The Burning Hell (yay!), but they have followed up Homebodies and The Volume Wars with another full length, Video et Taceo. The dime-store synth that drive The Scaffold show the band heading in another new direction. The song is full of whimsy but the harmonies are almost anthemesque, but an unexpected confidence from Collins is the biggest change. She's usually demure, so when she lashes out with profanity on the chorus it gives the song some bite.

Her angry delivery continues on the fuzzed out The Signal - a track that has David’s fingerprints all over it – and the new emotion she unleashes easily pushes the song to the top of her writing credits. There is something about how she utters, “A plea for clemency here. This is me invoking mercy” on the chorus that just grabs you each and every time.

As surprising and enjoyable as the two opening numbers are, it’s David that delivers the steadying hand to the release with his stripped down, heavy riffs and plaintive vocals. Talk, Talk, Talk barely gets above a whisper and waits until five minutes in to accelerate out of first gear, and his gravelly Waits-y voice follows suit on Particle Science, but the slow moving tracks are oddly engaging.

For me though, the highlight of the record is Balaenoptera Borealis. It’s the first time I really feel the duo flows in and around each other and the added muscle David provides keeps everything tense and wired. Colleen’s vocals are sure and steady, and her normally endearing, tender wavering falsetto is put on hold for more rage filled vocals that suit the song and provides terrific support for David’s verses.

I've predicted big things for this band before, and instead of mass hysteria they organically grow a slow building fan base, but hopefully the next year is going to help them get noticed. They are heading to Europe with Julie Doiron, playing Ontario with The Baird Brothers and then hitting Europe again with Shotgun Jimmie & The Burning Hell. Hopefully they remember their roots and play Halifax too.

MP3:: Construction & Destruction - Balaenoptera Borealis


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