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Violence Is Golden

(Dim Mak; US: 6 Jun 2006; UK: Available as import)

Oh boy, here come Scanners, a band that delivers “Joy” with a reckless abandon, albeit in a very tight, polished pop rock format. It’s just dark enough to make the lead singer Sarah Daly sound like a cross between Miss P.J. Harvey and Miss Chrissy Hynde on the extremely ear pleasing and almost head-turning opener. And never does Scanners let up on being relentless, as if each note of “Lowlife” has the band’s future in the balance. It’s quite refreshing and breaks out beautifully as Daly adds some violin to the proceedings. Each number takes on a life of its own, but still hits all the criteria for a great song—great hook, great melody, and great delivery, as is the case with the crunchier “In My Dreams”. And in much the same way that Led Zeppelin’s IV slows down with “The Battle of Evermore”, this record slows down with the guitar buzz of “Changing Times”, which bubbles under the surface. Things also slow down later on during the tender, dreamy pop of “Look What You Started”, which is the best song the Pretenders never recorded. But after that downtime, things are so effin’ fantastic with the delectable “Bombs” and the rowdy, seedy punk oozing out of “Air 164” that you are left with an orgasmic expression on your face. The same can be exclaimed for “Raw”, which is, well, raw, god damn it.


Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide,,, 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

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