Thursday, February 16, 2012

Said The Whale: "Little Mountain" (album review)

From the energetic first single "Heavy Ceiling", you could tell that Little Mountain, the new studio record from Juno Award-winning band Said The Whale, was going to be special.  The British Columbia band are poised to release the record on March 6th.

The strength of Said The Whale, which is repeated constantly on Little Mountain, is their ability to marry catchy hooks with a roots music tradition.  In that they equal, or possibly even surpass the likes of Great Lake Swimmers and Band Of Horses.  Toss in a healthy dose of Canadian imagery and it makes for an endearing blend.

Several songs on the album: "We Are 1980", "Big Wave Goodbye", and "Lucky" among them, make you believe that the hook will be lodged in your brain for days to come.  They would too, if they weren't jostled free and replaced by an even catchier song later in the album.

If there were ever a perfect storm of indie pop music, it might very well be on "Loveless".  Peppy hooks, flawless harmonies, and clever lyrics all combine to make one irresistible tune for the ages.

It's not all sugary melodies and pop songs.  "Big Sky, MT" is a jaunty tale of outdoorsmanship (is that a word?) with a very playful side.  Later a pair of experimental numbers, "Lover/Friend" and "Guilty/Hypocrites" miss the mark, seeming totally out of place in the context of the album.

Credit has to go to any band that can write a pop song that involves referencing Edmonton and making that town sound appealing.  That may be their greatest feat of all.

Said The Whale play The Great Hall in Toronto on April 13th.

Best tracks: "Loveless", "Jesse, AR"

Track listing for Little Mountain:

  • We Are 1980
  • Big Sky, MT
  • Loveless
  • The Reason
  • O Alexandra
  • Big Wave Goodbye
  • Lover/Friend
  • Guilty/Hypocrites
  • 2010
  • Heavy Ceiling
  • Hurricane Ada
  • Safe Harbour
  • Lucky
  • Seasons

No comments: