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Beaten Awake

Let's Get Simplified

(Audio Eagle Records; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: Unavailable)

This is an indie group made up of other independent bands, featuring members of 6 Parts 7, Harriet the Spy, and The Man I Fell in Love With. And each of these people bring their best to the table, beginning with the mid-tempo and roots-y “Browns Town”, which brings to mind Soul Asylum. Hushed and sounding like it was done live off the floor, “It’s a Bubble Bath of Sharks” shines from start to finish, as does the Americana-tinged “Ghost Bought a Bicycle”, which is accented by some synth-like effects. The first noticeable departure is the heady, psychedelic based “Broken Fang”, which could be deemed “acid roots” if such an animal existed. Recorded in the basement of producer Patrick Carney (Audio Eagle, Black Keys), the record takes a dour turn with the mediocre “All Up All Close” and also during the run-of-the-mill “The Tigers Tale” that is downplayed too much. Fortunately, the album gets back to its better-than-average basics with the chugging “Boat Shoes” and the punchy “Endless Boo”.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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