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Complicated Shirt

Compromising Compositions

(Alone Records; US: 9 Jan 2007; UK: Available as import)

Praised by several magazines for their challenging, off-center music, Complicated Shirt are a blending of post-rock and indie rock judging by the intense yet controlled “Resilient”, a song highlighted by drummer Jonathan Pellerin while lead singer Drew Benton sings about things that happen in Las Vegas staying in Las Vegas. The group relies on these hard-to-follow but easy-to-appreciate formats for “Saprogenic” that has Benton basically talking his way through the song. Other numbers such as “Rickets” and “The Somnambulateur” have fine instrumentals within them that are short but definitely to the point. The first “ordinary” or “mainstream” ditty is “Seasonal Affective Disorder” that seems to still work well. The album also contains a handful of brief numbers, including the minute-and-change “Procyonine” that just seems to be hitting its groove when it’s nipped in the bud. Another similar effort is the waltz-y “The Thawing Neck” that is Benton’s best vocal performance. The album’s swan song is the hymnal “Bad Plumbing Beneath a Spilled Philter” that has a framework reminiscent of Roger Waters’ solo work.

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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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