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Biography of Ferns

Pastel Gothic

(Tellous; US: 4 Jan 2007; UK: Available as import)

They might be a Seattle trio, but Biography of Ferns could have come from the same garage that the Strokes emerged from in the Big Apple. Need proof? Well, take a gander, er, listen to the charming “The Charmer” which bursts out big initially before finding it framework roughly a minute in. And while they rhyme off everyone from the Kinks and Sonic Youth to New Order and the Who as influences, they are definitely few of those on the very crisp “John the Barber” which has a certain cutting, angular quality about it. Gang of Four can be discerned on the retro-rock of “Control Getsum”, but Biography of Ferns hit a creative puddle when they attempt the odd and unimpressive “Accidental Town” which is a bit of an accident in itself. It seems like an aberration thankfully once the band nails “Build You Down” which comes off like a b-side by the Killers and “False Candle”, a song that is a distant cousin to Crowded House’s “Locked Out”. One gets the impression that the band wants you to try to pigeonhole them but then throw out another side of the band as is the case with “Visual Vagrant”, a seedy kind of rock number that never really comes to the fore but just brims under the surface.

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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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