Canada – This Cursed House (CD)

With a minute-long introduction, the one thing that individuals will know about the band Canada on their “This Cursed House” is that they do not intend to have the most speedy compositions. In fact, after the minute or song introduction to “Beige Stationwagon”, what results is an indie rock marked by a jangly acoustic-sounding guitar and a more natural sound to the dominant vocals. When the bass and drums kick in the band goes into the realm of acts like Devendra Banhart and Defiance Ohio. This introductory track to “This Cursed House” would be a good fit for indie rock radio, having a catchy melody even as the act only briefly skirts close to the conventions that are present on the rest of popular radio.

The tracks on “This Cursed House” bounce back and forth between short and long, always being the perfect length for Canada. It is not that the band shoots for a specific track length and then succeeds or fails based on how much material they put into the track, but rather they lay out a goal and accomplish it each and every time they play. The hints of anarcho-punk (i.e. early Against Me, Latterman, acoustic Operation Cliff Clavin, and the aforementioned Defiance Ohio) come out more and more during “Hexenhaus”, but is moderated by a Hayden-like organic indie rock. “Hey Garland” is a song that seems to blend early Cat Stevens with shoegazer pop, with the result being a very dreamy construct of indie rock that does not need anything in the way of vocals to win over the hearts and minds of anyone listening in. It operates as a good bridge between the first and subsequent parts of “This Cursed House”. The guitars that open up “Record Function” are reminiscent of early Soul Asylum and Cure, and when the vocals finally get their time in the sun, what results is another thoughtful track by Canada.

While Canada will never be on pop radio, this is not their goal; they come up with some of the most catchy music on “This Cursed House” that will fit in easily with the Polyphonic Spree and The Rapture. Canada are one of the best acts to come out of left field in the next year, and their new brand of indie / alternative rock will be enough to restore individuals from jaded states. This is a fun disc that actually has some substance to it; individuals will be compelled to listen over and over.

Top Tracks: Record Function, Esther

Rating: 7.0/10

[JMcQ]

Canada – This Cursed House / 2006 Quite Scientific / 14 Tracks / http://www.thecanadianfront.com / http://www.quitescientific.com / Reviewed 25 February 2007

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