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Museum Pieces

City of Brotherly Love

(Fusion 3; US: Available as import; UK: 28 Jan 2008; Canada release date: 4 Sep 2007)

The power trio of drummer/pianist Andy March, front man Tyler Messick, and sometimes bassist Christian Simmons make up the skeleton crew for one of Halifax’s fastest rising post-punk slacker bands. City of Brotherly Love continues this upward trajectory, as the ‘tween album snack following Philadelphia and before whatever. I realize Halifax doesn’t have a whole lot else going on, though, so take that how you will. Regardless, there is a lot to like about Museum Pieces written all over this EP. “As We Lay Dying” sees Messick’s vocals at their most ethereal and his guitar at its most composed with a hint of purposeful melancholy, both well supported by the rhythm section note for mood. “Bones Parade” is a tin can bedroom track that tips their hat to roots folk (Gawd, is that a banjo I hear?), acting as a nice aural break for the rest of the smoothly recorded CD. I think they need to embrace more stuff like that one, ‘cause usually when they rock out all sullen dispassion style, I can’t help but think Sonic Youth and the mid to late ‘80s already did most of it. If they want to make an impact, especially in the US, they need to push themselves a little further.

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Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys, with a butt that won't quit.


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