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  • Volume Eight, Number Seven: October 2003

    Localcentric Music Review

    Pop These Fine Local CDs In Your Hungry Player

    Mark Bignell

    Antique City

    The Silk Flag   Low-Fi Pop

    From the blue construction paper CD sleeve to the spare but effective production, this is a truly independent product, made from scratch.

    Antique City (www.antiquecity.iuma.com) offers a more unique approach to pop music.

    This is definitely not the standard fluff. It's darker, with more unique arrangements, offering spare sounding guitar, tactful, atmospheric keyboard fills, floating bass and some sublime harmonies.

    You may notice the absence of drums, which doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the album at all.

    But, what really holds my interest with this album is the voice of Tyler Greentree.

    Her voice is one sweet, and seductive instrument. Have a listen to "Lies Rot Your Heart" and "Bossa Nova Ham" for starters. When she gets together with Fenoit One (aka. Joel), the results are quite breathtaking. Other highlights include: "Untitled/litter Of Kittens" (a crowd favourite); "Unexpected Things," with its falsetto vocals and well accented synthesized "drips," bringing to mind some of XTC's Andy Partridge's more experimental forays; the waltz-inspired "Acronymic," and the most straight forward poppy song on the disc: "Fur Hanz." Pop music for more discerning ears.

    Maplewood Lane  (Self Titled) Pop

    Recorded by musician-friendly artist Jonathan Inc, who also adds some instrumentation of his own, Maplewood Lane's (www.maplewoodlane.com) debut disc is a breezier Pop offering, but that doesn't mean it’s a throwaway.

    Vocalist Rebecca Rowan and company offer some sweet audio candy that's a great sight more worthwhile than what the usual radio band offers. Which explains the increasing popularity of Internet radio and other alternative sources for music these days.

    "The Colour and The Gold" should be all over the radio dial with its instantly catchy guitar riff and sweet vocals. "Wildwood Drive' is another radio friendly Pop gem. But if these tracks prove too sweet, there's always tracks like "When Everything's Changing" that offer a darker glimpse into their melodic psyche--a fine counterpoint to Antique City.

    A Northern Chorus

    Spirit Flags   Psychedelic Pop / Rock

    Lie down, make yourself comfortable, put on the headphones and visit another planet with this modern day slice of atmospheric, psychedelic music. A Northern Chorus (www.anorthernchorus.com) are a six-piece, which offers music that needs to be seriously taken in--definitely not music for people on a schedule.

    Tracks such as the beautifully pensive "Fragile Day" and "Let The Parrots Speak for Themselves" (Nice to know this band isn't so into their heads they don't have a sense of humour) drift on for six to eight minutes each. What makes this CD stand out from the many more modern psychedelic-inspired bands is their addition of violin, viola, flute and trumpet into the mix of bowed, e-bowed, swelled, chiming and swirling guitars.

    The harmonies are wonderful and the dynamics of the arrangements are impressive as songs go from subtle, quite openings to full on freak-outs! Vocally, you could say this album has Radiohead leanings, but don't let that prevent you from taking them on.

    This is one trip you won't forget.

    Mark Bignell is an advocate of local and independently made music.

    He can be heard Friday nights on Radio Bandcouver, 10pm-Midnight on 102.7 FM CFRO. You can visit on line at www.bandcouver.com


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