Album Reviews: September 24, 2018

Album Reviews: September 24, 2018

Dilly Dally - Heaven (Toronto)

After nearly falling apart as a band if the stories are to be believed, Dilly Dally has moved forward on their newest record. Though it rarely captures the same brutality of their last record, the mix of exploration and guttural moments really keep the record alive. This sense of wonde is all over the beats of "I Feel Free" where Katie Monks' growling vocals maintain the edge over a more pop-fuelled sound. Monks however does bring a fun sense of tension as well to "Doom" where muddy guitars are given glossier vocals and she only goes shrieking when it's time to absolutely push the song forward. Though many of their previous tones can be pulled out of "Sober Motel" the track hits a momentum in its final half that is so dense and intense you'll forget how it even started. "Marijuana" even evolves from a simple and fast punk-rock rush to a place where Monks' voice is intriguingly different and Dilly Dally really feels their most changed. 

Mitch Labrosse - Points Of Light (Ottawa)

As our local producers expand their horizons it's become truly wondrous to hear the mesmerizing sounds of the instrumental scene. In his latest humble EP Mitch Labrosse creates sonic worlds to inspire and intrigue, while painting pictures in your imagination. "Sanctuary" hits with a heavy dose of synths, creating a sound that screams Blade Runner but distorted into a sunny wave of hope. Though there's a mechanical coldness to "Withdrawal," there's such a rushing sense of life under the track that you'll be following every little turn it takes. Despite the darker tones within the album, "Awoken" sheds all of this to create something ethereal and almost spiritual in tone where any harshness carries a sense of nature behind it. Alternatively, the electronic pulses of "Transcendence" suggest an otherworldly force that feels dangerous but awe-inspiring at the same time.

Jungle - For Ever (London, England)

With more and more bands being able to create sounds much bigger than their numbers would suggest, it's enthralling to hear this play out with an already large group. For their sophomore effort, Jungle create an immersive sound that makes it easy to love whatever new idea they spin out on a particular song. After the rush of drums starts to fade into the background of "Smile" Jungle is already pulling you into layers of harmonic chants and new hooks to make their pop infectious. Though so much of it feels effortless, there's an inherent brilliance to how universal the writing is on something "Heavy, California" that the production behind it merely gives it a nice mystique. Jungle do however push the envelope more on something like "Cherry" where they pull you through different layers of pop and explore their own world of sound at the same time. Because of this mix of accessible tones and clever writing, a cheesier song like "Casio" can play with conventions and use them just enough to get you dancing.

Steve St. Pierre - Stubborn Romance (Ottawa)

Deceptively stripped down production is the secret to Steve St. Pierre's magic, and this latest album uses that to keep his music emotionally potent. Though the barebones guitar lines of "Set Me On Fire" can seem straightforward, this gives St. Pierre the room to expand into a fiery mix of layered tones as the song's emotions begin to build."Feels Just Like I'm Stoned" unfortunately lacks this same sonic growth but more than makes up for it in the devastating writing that St. Pierre brings to the table. With sunny little notes humming throughout and a subtle since of space to the track, "Same Old Lines" is tender and brutally honest in its tale of moving forward. "Marathon" however thrives on its sparse sound, as St. Pierre closes out the record on an inspiring stomp that mixes love and a sense of worry.

Guerilla Toss - Twisted Crystal (New York City)

If you've heard Guerilla Toss over their past couple albums, you've likely noticed there's a palpable excitement to their music. While many of their previous efforts where more abrasive, this latest effort uses their atypical qualities to enhance strong dance cores for constantly intriguing record. As they let their freak flags fly on "Magic Is Easy" their heavy grooves mix with the dance beats for something not only moving but weird enough to stick in your head. "Jesus Rabbit" is so blatant in its messaging and off-kilter writing that it hides nothing and leaves you only to get caught up in the chant-like vocals. While DFA's signature electronic dance sound is certainly present on "Meteorological," it's really the song's relentless rhyming and lyrical rhythms that make you want to come back again and again. Guerilla Toss max out their performance and production limits on "Green Apple" where their a mix of improv, abrasive delivery and a sound that can only be described as kaleidoscopic takes you on a constantly evolving ride.